Reading an article on 1000 days of inspiration a couple of days back, I decided to download and read a book reference was made to; the four agreements. Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed because the content of the book resonated with something I’ve been searching for, something I couldn’t quite define but knew I needed.
Anyway, lest I trail off, I subsequently have read another of Don Miguel Ruiz’s books, The mastery of Love, and presently, I’m poring through the pages of The Fifth Agreement. Such has been the immense impact of the ‘teachings’ expressed in the books on me.
It is fitting that what I have to share summarily from the fifth agreement comes today, especially since I’ve decided to temporarily suspend the motivation-type daily writing that has characterized this blog till now. Next week, we chart a new course… More on that later.
The fifth agreement simply states: “Be skeptical, but learn to listen.”
Would have loved to elaborate extensively on the preceding four agreements but I strongly suggest you read the book yourself if you feel inclined. Anyway, the bottom line with this said fifth agreement is that you don’t take everything at face value. You question declarations and beliefs (majorly) to verify whether they be the truth or just relative truths.
I’d say this Toltec wisdom agreement as simple as it looks has the potential to be a very vital habit for any man especially in a world laced with eclectic opinions that can distort one’s perceptions.
What I mean is this; whatever anyone says or wants you to believe, listen carefully, but have it at the back of your mind that you’re a secondary character in that person’s outlook of life and so, most of what he says will be as he sees it, not necessary the raw truth.
To this end, it is necessary that no matter how insightful the potential knowledge you’re about to amass is, subject it to proper skepticism until you’re able to determine if it’s reality or virtual reality. Same goes for all the articles I’ve presented on this blog so far.
I love Don Miguel’s rider with this agreement. It goes thus;
Don’t believe me, don’t believe yourself, don’t believe anyone else.
In the case that the above statement seems confusing, the point is not to take anything as an absolute truth just because someone you think you trust says it or because it aligns with the idea of the truth you’ve been fed with by outside information until you’ve listened to ensure clarity and you’ve questioned it in your mind.
Frankly, at this point, I seem to be complicating what Miguel’s trying to pass across, so I think it’s best to close with the following (in his words):
You already have the awareness that all artists live in their own dream, in their own world. In that world, whatever they perceive is truth for them, and it could be that it’s absolutely true for the artists who are expressing their story, but it’s not truth for you. The only truth for you is what you perceive in your world. With this awareness, there’s nothing to prove to anyone. It’s not about being right or wrong. You respect whatever somebody says because it’s another artist speaking.
Respect is so important. When you learn to listen, you show respect for the other artists — you show respect for their art, for their creation.
All artists have the right to create their art in whatever way they want. They have the right to believe whatever they want to believe; they have the right to say whatever they have to say, but if you don’t learn to listen, you will never understand what they’re saying. Listening is so important in communication. When you learn to listen, you know exactly what other people want. Once you know what they want, what you do with that information is up to you. You can react or not react, you can agree or disagree with what they say, and that depends on what you want.
I hope that’s clearer?
Don Miguel is a very good author and his books have been enlightening to me, they’ve made me understand better some of the things I’ve known before and they’ve opened my mind such that it can never return to its former state. (Hooke’s law of Elasticity broken). I recommend that you find time to read any of his books you can lay your hands on.
Cheers to a blissful weekend!