Part (3) The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
ENGLISHDR. NIKITA MUNDHRABOOK REVIEW
The fourth Agreement: Always do your best!
Always do your best. This best is a relative term as it varies from time to time, you are energetic, or tired, sick or healthy, in an emergency or enjoying leisure time. It's just, whatever situation you are in – just do your best. Neither more nor less. More will drain you up and finally you won’t be able to meet your ends whereas less will make you feel guilty and you will blame and punish yourself – saying “I could have done better”. The above three agreements will be put into force by this fourth agreement. Every time you fail, you made an assumption, you took things personally or you could not remain impeccable with your words. Stop judging and blaming, stand up and restart. This is what the author means by Always do your best. This is best for every aspect of life work, love, family, community. This agreement will make you productive and good to yourself. Doing your best means life in action without expecting reward. Let go of the agreement of reward and punishment and start living and putting action into each moment your best. This will give you a more satisfying life. Inaction stems from the fear of expressing yourself and it will lead to no manifestation, no results. Make this fourth agreement a ritual, a habit for every task you do, be it shower, cooking, as a father or working on a project. God is life in action. The best way to say “Thank you, God '' is by letting go of the past and living the present moment to the fullest. You were born with the right to be happy, to love and enjoy, so claim your birth rights and live this life – the best you can. Stop pleasing others, or giving into the urge to prove others that you are right and they are wrong. Just be you. Your own body is a manifestation of God. Just love every part of your body, nurture love in every cell, honor, respect your body, mind immensely.
Following the four agreements – is a path of transformation. Transforming hell into heaven. So, the knowledge is there waiting for you to use it. You need to adopt them and respect their meaning and power. These agreements are quite logical and easy but you need a strong will to follow them and the world is surrounded by obstacles. You need to defend these agreements with your life every time someone attacks you and the reward is to transcend from suffering. You don’t need to be religious. Just follow these four logical agreements and you will always be in heaven.
The Toltec path to freedom – Breaking old agreements
“Freedom” – Are we really free? After years of independence, are we really free? Can we be just ourselves, be what we actually are, stop pretending, stop putting up new masks in every situation? Who stops us? Is it the government, your spouse, your parents or yourself? You are your biggest captivator and you chain yourself into bondages by your dream book of law where you are the judge and you are the victim. This judge-victim-fear persona of yours is a living being inside you just like a parasite and you are the host. This parasite drains all your energy making you sad, depressed and always in pain. You must have the memory of childhood where you were just wild, no embarrassments of the past and no fear of the future. You were just carefree and always living in the present from one moment to another. So, when and how did we become this judge-victim and serious person? As we grew up, we got our agreements from our parents, teachers and society. They gave us what they have so there is no point to blame them. Then, responsibilities, social status, to keep up with the dream story, we became serious. Sometimes, while painting or playing a piano, the inner child pops up and you just get lost in the present. But, soon the serious version of you blames you for wasting time. It's time that now you choose your agreements, you are no more a child, but an adult, who can think rationally, break old ones and make new agreements. So, how to break free from this fear-based agreement?
First, you need to be aware of the problem you are dealing with. Awareness is the first step that can tell you that you can rebel against the parasite and there is no need to suffer. If everything is a dream, then why to have a suffering dream, we can have an enjoyable one. Why let a parasite live your life and cause you to drain and instead you starve the parasite? Awareness helps you to take charge of the situation. From the Toltec point of freedom, every domesticated individual is sick as the parasite is controlling the mind and the negative emotions such as fear feeds the parasite. You are cornered by this parasite. One option is to continue suffering and the second one is to rebel. We can rebel and declare war against this parasite and call ourselves warriors. The real warrior is the one who fights his own demons and lives a free life. How to fight the parasite? One way is to tackle them one by one. Its like you are facing them one at a time but this takes a huge time. The other way is you stop feeding them, you starve the parasite till death. There is a third way where you kill that being all together which is done by taking an initiation path of death. Let’s explore all the path in detail
1. The Art of Transformation – The Dream of Second Attention
The dream of first attention started the process of domestication as you were born. So, one way is to focus and change all the agreements you made during your first attention and create a new dream of second attention. The difference will be that this time you choose your agreements, no one forces anything on you. First, be aware of it and then replace the old agreement with a new one. Replacement of fear-based agreement by a love-based one is essential to fill up the space. This process needs to be done for each and every old agreement. It takes time and might seem hopeless. The personal power that you put in to build up those old agreements, your addictions all these years becomes the obstacle. Your self-negative beliefs such as I am good enough, I am not capable stops us. You can use the four agreements as an alternative to your old ones. It feels like going into the desert, fighting the old demons and transforming into angels.
2. The discipline of warrior – Controlling your own behavior
The second one is opting for the self-control of a warrior. First, understand that your human mind is wounded and you need to find a cure. The lies we speak to others and to self covers the wound and the human mind functions. But, as soon as someone touches the wound, it hurts and we spurt our emotional poison. Truth becomes the scalpel and self-love is the medicine. Truth is painful as it opens up the wound and forgiveness can only heal it. You need to forgive everyone who has hurt you, abused you not because they deserve it, but we deserve to free yourself from the pain. You will know you have completely forgiven when the person’s presence or name does not create any emotional turbulence in you. You just feel as normal as you were before. Once we no longer have any wounds, it feels wonderful when anyone touches a healthy and clean mind. As humans, we lose control on emotions. A warrior needs to be aware and be impeccable with their words. A victim suppresses emotions but a warrior chooses to control it and use it at the right time in the right way. A warrior has control, not on others but on self.
3. The initiation of the Dead – Embracing the angel of death
The final way to kill the parasite is to embrace the angel of death. Living every moment with the thought that I can die in the next and the other person can also die in the next moment. So, in this small moment of the present, would you allow anyone to take control of you or would you just be yourself? You would just live every day with gratitude for that day and just be yourself as it’s the only day you have. Your money, career, family, spouse, children all belong to the angel of death and it can take it from you any moment. Your past fears, parasites, embarrassments have been all taken away from you by the angel of death and you have just this present moment to live. The angel of death teaches us to be free and whosoever survives the initiation of death receives the most wonderful gift – the resurrection – to arise from the dead, to be alive and to be ourselves again. You have freedom like a newborn child but with wisdom instead of innocence. Surrender yourself to the angel of death, your past, your future and you will be liberated just to live in the present.
The New Dream
The dream you are living in is your creation. If you have the power to create hell, why not create heaven. Use your mind, emotions, and imagination to create heaven. Just close your eyes and open to perceive love from all directions sun, moon, trees, behind every negative emotion, you can see them sending love from deep within. Imagine a life without judgment, victim, rejection, criticism, opinion etc. all those fear-based false beliefs instead just pure unconditional love all around. There is no fear of hatred, rejection, losing anything. You love and respect others and others do the same to you. This imagination is entirely possible. Love is a state of bliss and it has the potential to transform your hell to heaven. Love can replace the chaos in your mind with pure, and eternal peace.
- Dr. Nikita Mundhara