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Learn the key ideas of the book by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements

Ancient Toltec wisdom as a tool for self-improvement

Written by Mexican shaman Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements is a practical guide to personal freedom and healing. Ruiz believes that human beings feel lost and unhappy because of the constant domestication that they receive from the people and environments they frequent, even though they have everything they need to live a life full of love and wisdom. The Four Agreements can help people make changes to their behaviour that will enable them to live their own truth. Living according to these agreements can give us all the chance to experience heaven on earth, and the satisfaction of having the strength to do so.

The Four Agreements
Read in 11 min.
Listen in 14 min.

Humans live in an eternal dream state, which is the opposite of being awake

People are always dreaming. They daydream constantly, and make changes to their lives according to their interpretations of these dreams.

Although the act of dreaming itself is not wrong, dreams define a partial reality that comes from an external prediction; living in a dream means always being distracted.

“Outside” dreams follow precise rules that have been instilled in us since we were children. These are dreams about our jobs or social lives.

The environment we grow up in affects the way we act and think from a very young age, as part of a process known as domestication, or the habit of giving in to external circumstances. Domestication happens when society dictates what we should think, say, and do, what is right or wrong, and what is good and bad.

During human domestication, the outside dream is conveyed to the inside dream, creating our whole belief system. This is the point where domestication and individual freedom collide, but usually the domestication is so ingrained that it is very difficult to overcome. The mind interprets this conditioning (or programming) as good and just, so freeing oneself from it requires a lot of self-work.

Often the outside dream is made to take over the inside dream, and in the long run, this lack of choice weighs heavy upon us, and we begin to feel the weight of the inauthenticity of our very own dreams. In fact, the beliefs we hold about ourselves and about the world come from the outside dream, however they are symbols of a sweetened, fake world, created by external reality rather than by the intimate desires of human beings. Anyone who wants to live an authentic life should work in reverse; they should learn to listen to their inside dream, and manifest that into their outer reality.


The key ideas of "The Four Agreements"

Humans live in an eternal dream state, which is the opposite of being awake
The meaning of the four agreements to live fully and break free from the dream state
Living your truth is the biggest challenge: choose your words carefully
Agreement #2: avoid taking things personally
Agreement #3, don’t make assumptions: learn to think for yourself
Agreement #4: Always do your best (the key to happiness)
It is possible to experience heaven on earth
Take-home message
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