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The Four Agreements

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Blue Rising
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The Four Agreements

Postby Blue Rising » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:59 pm

I am beginning a yoga teacher certification course, and the first book we are discussing is The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz. I am opening up a space here for my thoughts, if I have any, while I read. I am hoping this will help to keep me reading, and help me to not set the book aside halfway through (as I have a habit of doing.) If anyone else has any thoughts, well that would be great also :)

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

Now see, at first glance those seem self explanatory. Which is exactly why I would probably set this book down and not even be interested in it. We are going to discuss these as a group, and that is good enough for me.

yet...

What I read before Luiz even discusses these agreements is what hooked me. The Toltec Wisdom. It is odd to me, after familiarizing myself with this paradigm, is that this is the part of the title that seems almost like an afterthought. In parentheses at the end of the title.

He speaks of this illusory existence, this life, this matrix as many are fond of calling it...as a dream. There is an individual dream, we inherit it from our parents or caregivers from birth. This equates to the indoctrination, the belief systems we are handed, the ones we accept wholeheartedly when we know no better. Then he talks about a collective dream, which I equate to the collective consciousness.

What struck me about this is the similarity to what I have uncovered myself. It is similar to the way I understand things, the way I have experienced things since opening up. It is another paradigm, another set of words, another language, that explains the same concepts I have been exposed to in the past couple of years. I hope to explore this more later, along with the concept he calls the domestication of the planet.
Do not fashion me a maiden who needs saving from the dragons. I am the Dragon. And I will eat you whole.

neonblue

Re: The Four Agreements

Postby neonblue » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:01 am

Blue Rising: "What struck me about this is the similarity to what I have uncovered myself. It is similar to the way I understand things, the way I have experienced things since opening up. It is another paradigm, another set of words, another language, that explains the same concepts I have been exposed to in the past couple of years. I hope to explore this more later, along with the concept he calls the domestication of the planet."

I am curious to hear how you journey with this along the way... and intrigued to learn what this man alludes to regards "the domestication of the planet".

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Re: The Four Agreements

Postby Blue Rising » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:55 pm

Thank you for spurring me to get back into the theories, neonblue. Because you have shown interest, I went back and started skimming.

Boy, this is loaded. More so than I first suspected. If I choose to speak during this training course, I fear the instructors will not be prepared to handle it. So, I will go back to the lesson I learned in college. I do not need to speak up. I can sit quietly and I guess I will be watching the clock, which is disheartening. Oh, the things I do to get a piece of paper. Actually, the piece of paper is a very small part of why I am doing this. This course promised to get to the heart of yoga. Before I even begin, I realize that if I get closer to my own connection to/through/with yoga, it will not be because of these books. Or this course.

I digress. I will italicize my paraphrasing of this book.

First, I appreciate the metaphor of our existence in this material world as a dream. I find it a succinct way to express my own experiential understanding. Ruiz explains that we dream while asleep, and we dream while awake. We believe the awake dreaming to be more real, and the asleep dreaming to be less real. I agree.

He explains that our dream is inherited from our parents, our teachers, and any other adults (read: authorities) we come in contact with when we are very young. I agree. He says that we are told which of our own experiences are true and real, and which are false and pretend/imaginary/not real. I agree. During this process, we hide many of our natural abilities or train ourselves to ignore them.

Ruiz refers to this process as the domestication of human beings. Unfortunately, I see his perspective. He says we are trained much like we train our own pets, using positive and negative reinforcement. We feel good when we are rewarded, we feel bad when we are punished. Okay, I see that as valid. At some point, usually early in life, we accept all these dreams and they become agreements. Well...I agree on the surface. I think they are agreements by default, because the disagreement with any of these dreams can only come when the individual begins to awaken to all of this. Certainly no child - not one - that I have ever come in contact with is in any position to reject the dreams (belief systems) of the authority figures surrounding him/her.

He goes on, then, to explain his theory that we start with a small unit, say family, and as we look outward we see larger and larger systems of this domestication. Moving outward from family, we see community, religion, society, and then planet. I can agree with that on the surface. But...

This stuff is so basic that he doesn't address some extremely important pieces here. I don't even know where to start. I would like to put my usual disclaimer here before I even share...(consider that done)

He does not address the fact that the Earth itself/Herself cannot actually be domesticated. The dirt is the material container for the intelligent consciousness. Creation. Spirit manifest in/as Matter. The “dream” which he calls the domestication of the planet...hooey. The human collective consciousness is in, on, and around the planet. It is our falling level of consciousness of our his/herstory that we deal with...those who are awakened to this Truth. If he is using the word planet where he should actually use the word human consciousness, or where he means to indicate how widespread the shared dream is....that is a different matter. But he does not specify. Is he saying that we, as a shared consciousness, dream the planet into existence? Unclear also. I would agree to some extent with that particular interpretation, as we the Divine Consciousness have been involved as Creator from Mystery beginning to Mystery end...which do not exist.

He does not address any possible influences that were put into place, either by us or by forces/energies that any awakening individual is stumbling upon. I see many people realizing and releasing said contracts and agreements. Changing the dream? Possibly. Changing the individual dream? Absolutely. Waking to the sleeping dream...Living the sleeping dream while awake. I might even call this an awareness of mutidimensionality.

There is the beginning of my assessment. I doubt very much that I will read this book in preparation for the group discussion. The discussions need no preparation on my part (see my small town thread...) I will wing it. I am pretty sure I can keep up with wherever the talks lead.

Of course, if there is discussion here, that would undoubtedly be more interesting....
Do not fashion me a maiden who needs saving from the dragons. I am the Dragon. And I will eat you whole.

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Re: The Four Agreements

Postby Blue Rising » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:18 pm

I am glad I taught my children well. One just helped me to see my irritation for what it is. Crap. Of course I will learn in this course. There is always more to learn.

To continue...

In making these agreements with all these other dreamers, we accept and co-create a world of suffering based on fear. We use our personal power to create this, until we change our dream consciously. When our personal power is diluted, we feel powerlessness. Helplessness. So the key to stepping into our own personal power is seeing this for what it is. I agree with this.

He says that these four agreements, discussed next, are the key(s) to taking back our own dream. I actually think that the key to changing our personal dream, our personal reality, and affecting the shared dream/material existence is simpler than these four agreements, though much more work. It is simple, because for me the key is learning what is at my core. Learning who I Am. And as I peel away the layers of who I always thought I was, I see glimpses of who I Am. This goes back to the concept of Knowing Self.
Do not fashion me a maiden who needs saving from the dragons. I am the Dragon. And I will eat you whole.

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Re: The Four Agreements

Postby Blue Rising » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:29 pm

Ruiz says that once the old agreements are broken, or at the very least realized, there are four new agreements that can change the way this life is experienced.

The First Agreement - Be Impeccable With Your Word.

(.....coming back to this......)
Do not fashion me a maiden who needs saving from the dragons. I am the Dragon. And I will eat you whole.

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Re: The Four Agreements

Postby Moonlight » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:46 pm

Hahaha... Blue, you make me laugh. Your daughter is very wise... of course you will learn.

I've read this little book about a year ago and actually enjoyed it. It did not teach me things I didn't already know, but it has good reminders. I view it as a beginner's book... a slow wake-up kind of book.

I especially liked the first agreement, Be impeccable with your words. It made me straighten my tongue a bit... :oops: Easy to forget that our words are powerful tools, even while talking to oneself.

I would be interested in knowing what the rest of the class got from it... ;)
If you feel that you can’t smile, stand before a mirror and with your fingers pull your mouth into a smile. It is that important! Yogananda

neonblue

Re: The Four Agreements

Postby neonblue » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:23 am

Thank you again Blue Rising... it's very pleasing and informative that you have continued with this thread.

Blue Rising:"He does not address any possible influences that were put into place, either by us or by forces/energies that any awakening individual is stumbling upon. I see many people realizing and releasing said contracts and agreements. Changing the dream? Possibly. Changing the individual dream? Absolutely. Waking to the sleeping dream...Living the sleeping dream while awake. I might even call this an awareness of mutidimensionality.."

Clearly the content here is rather more in your process!

Your powers of reflectivity proves to outstrip the arena of your teacher, therefore dare I say (with a wry grin) - far more valuable and interesting in the sharing here on the forum.

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Re: The Four Agreements

Postby Blue Rising » Sun Feb 28, 2016 1:09 am

Moonlight wrote:Hahaha... Blue, you make me laugh.


:D That makes two of us, I crack myself up too. I'm so grateful you are my friend.

Moonlight wrote:I've read this little book about a year ago and actually enjoyed it. It did not teach me things I didn't already know, but it has good reminders. I view it as a beginner's book... a slow wake-up kind of book.

I especially liked the first agreement, Be impeccable with your words. It made me straighten my tongue a bit... :oops: Easy to forget that our words are powerful tools, even while talking to oneself.


Yes, after reading the whole thing, I totally agree. It is a wonderful little book, and I think all three of my girls will be getting a copy. When I started looking at the information in this way, as reminders, I was able to appreciate it. It's all in the attitude, isn't it? I still work on catching thoughts before I own them, which helps with the words I speak and the words I think. Both.

Moonlight wrote:I would be interested in knowing what the rest of the class got from it... ;)


I have a hunch you will hear how the rest of the class reacts. We are to discuss it tomorrow. Though I could probably predict it. The class is a mixture, only two ladies have talked about their difficulty with yoga because they are Christians. One reported speaking to her Pastor about starting a yoga practice several years ago, and the Pastor gave her a very firm "NO!" She seems to have reconciled this, though I'm not sure how. There are a few people well on their way, one just started reading the Gita. And everybody is an expert, so I mostly sit quietly and smile. That's pretty safe. ;)
Do not fashion me a maiden who needs saving from the dragons. I am the Dragon. And I will eat you whole.

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Re: The Four Agreements

Postby Blue Rising » Sun Feb 28, 2016 1:20 am

neonblue wrote:Thank you again Blue Rising... it's very pleasing and informative that you have continued with this thread...

Clearly the content here is rather more in your process!

Your powers of reflectivity proves to outstrip the arena of your teacher, therefore dare I say (with a wry grin) - far more valuable and interesting in the sharing here on the forum.


Well, here's how this has gone so far. The teacher of this course was my yoga instructor for months. I absolutely love her. When she found out I was taking this course from her, she was excited. She said she looked forward to it, because she learned so much from me when I was her student. I recall talking to her about reiki, I cleaned her off once when she had picked up some icks from some students. I listened to her when she was going through a difficult situation, and suggested she burn a candle. She says that because I did this, she got back into her secret cabinet and decided to get back in touch with who she really is. She got out candles, incense, and sage...and apparently I had the honor of nudging her at the right moment. I feel gratitude when that happens.

She is very open minded, and encourages me to share. That said, she did allow me to "pass" when it was my turn to share the reason I started yoga. She knows the reason, and respected my hesitation in sharing with this group.

We did talk about samadhi today. That was........interesting. She was trying to answer a question about the bliss one feels in samadhi. She had a little difficulty finding an answer. She asked if anyone else had any experiences that could help. And she looked at me. So... I said that in my opinion it is like a state of pure consciousness, where there is no identity, no self, when a union and a dissolution occur simultaneously. But...the class decided as a group it is rather like the moment someone won a tennis tournament and everything external to the person got very still and quiet.

So....ya know.
Do not fashion me a maiden who needs saving from the dragons. I am the Dragon. And I will eat you whole.

neonblue

Re: The Four Agreements

Postby neonblue » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:52 am

Blue Rising: "So ya know"

Well you do Gnow, and when you share such experiential Gnowing's - you expand the field... of the Gnostic lineage.

You are a model of what is being asked of us.


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