These agreements come from the Toltec.
They were scientists and artists who formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge and practices of the ancient ones.
Their existence is dated thousands of years ago although they have been able to pass on their knowledge to generations by different lineages of masters.
Don Miguel Ruiz is one of them that has received the knowledge and is willing to share it through his book.
Toltec knowledge arises from the sacred esoteric traditions found around the world.
While it does embrace spirit, it is most accurately described as a way of life, distinguished by the ready accessibility of happiness and love.
The Smokey Mirror
We, humans, are naguals. That is we are made of light, made of stars.
Everything is made of light.
Us more precisely we are the light in between the stars.
The conclusion is that everything that exists is one living being, and that light is the messenger of life because it is alive and contains all information.
Life is the force of the absolute, the supreme, the Creator who creates everything.
It creates harmony and space between the stars and the light between the stars.
So, human perception is merely light perceiving light.
Also, the matter is a mirror, everything is a mirror that reflects light and creates images of that light.
And the world of illusion, the Dream, is just like smoke which doesn’t allow us to see what we really.
The real us is pure love, pure light.
The smoke is the Dream, and the mirror is humans, the dreamer.
Domestication and the Dream of the Planet
Humans are dreaming all the time.
Before we were born the humans before us created a big outside dream that we will call society’s dream or the dream of the planet.
The dream of the planet is the collective dream of billions of smaller, personal dreams.
We are born with the capacity to learn how to dream.
The adults around us hooked our attention and put information into our minds through repetition.
Attention is the ability we have to discriminate and to focus only on that which we want to perceive.
By using our attention we learned a whole reality, a whole dream.
We learned how to behave in society: what to believe and what not to believe; what is acceptable and what is not acceptable; what is good and what is bad; what is beautiful and what is ugly; what is right and what is wrong.
It was all there already, all that knowledge, all those rules, and concepts about how to behave in the world.
We never had the opportunity to choose what to believe or what not to believe.
As children, we didn’t have the opportunity to choose our beliefs, but we agreed with the information that was passed to us from the dream of the planet via other humans.
The only way to store information is by agreement.
The outside dream may hook our attention, but if we don’t agree, we don’t store that information.
As soon as we agree, we believe it, and that is called faith.
To have faith is to believe unconditionally.
That’s how we learn as children.
Children believe everything adults say.
We agree with them, and our faith is so strong that the beliefs system controls our whole dream of life.
We didn’t choose these beliefs, and we may have rebelled against them, but we were not strong enough to win the rebellion.
The result is surrender to the beliefs with our agreement.
This process is called the domestication of humans.
And through this domestication, we learn how to live and how to dream.
Children are domesticated the same way that we domesticate a dog, a cat, or any other animal.
When you went against the rules you were punished; when you went along with the rules you got a reward.
The reward feels good, and we keep doing what others want us to do in order to get the reward.
With that fear of being punished and that fear of not getting the reward, we start pretending to be what we are not, just to please others, just to be good enough for someone else.
We become a copy of Mamma’s beliefs, Daddy’s beliefs, society’s beliefs, and religion’s beliefs.
The domestication is so strong that at a certain point in our lives we no longer need anyone to domesticate us.
We can now domesticate ourselves according to the same belief system we were given, and using the same system of punishment and reward.
Also, punish ourselves when we don’t follow the rules according to our belief system; we reward ourselves when we are the “good boy” or “good girl”.
Our inner judge uses our belief system to judge everything we do and don’t do, everything we think and don’t think, and everything we feel and don’t feel.
These beliefs are so strong, that even years later when we are exposed to new concepts and try to make our own decisions, we find that these beliefs still control our lives.
Just as the government has a book of laws that rule the society’s dream, our belief system is the Book of Laws that rules our personal dream.
All these laws exist in our mind, we believe them, and the judge inside us bases everything on these rules.
The judge decrees and the Victim suffers the guilt and punishment. But who says there is justice in this dream?
True justice is paying only once for each mistake. True injustice is paying more than once for each mistake.
How many times do we pay for one mistake?
We have a powerful memory.
We make a mistake, we judge ourselves, we find ourselves guilty, and we punish ourselves.
But later on, when we remember, we start all over again.
In the dream of the planet, it is normal for humans to suffer, to live in fear, and to create emotional dramas.
The outside dream is not a pleasant dream; it is a dream of violence, a dream of fear, a dream of war, a dream of injustice.
If we look at human society we see a place so difficult to live in because it is ruled by fear.
It can be compared to hell.
Religions say that hell is a place of punishment, a place of fear, pain, and suffering, a place where the fire burns you.
Fire is generated by emotions that come from fear.
Whenever we feel the emotions of anger, jealousy, envy, or hate, we experience a fire burning within us.
We are living in a dream of hell.
All of humanity is searching for truth, justice, and beauty.
We keep searching and searching, when everything is already within us. There is no truth to find.
Whenever we turn our heads, all we see is the truth, but with the agreements and beliefs we have stored in our minds, we have no eyes for this truth.
It is as if we live in the middle of a fog that doesn’t let us see any further than our own nose.
We live in a fog that is not even real.
This fog is a dream, your personal dream of life, what you believe, all the concepts you have about what you are, all the agreements you have made with others, with yourself, and even with God.
Your whole mind is a fog which the Toltecs called mitote.
Your mind is a dream where a thousand people talk at the same time, and nobody understands each other.
This is the condition of the human mind, a big mitote, and with that big mitote you cannot see what you really are.
During the process of domestication, we form an image of what perfection is in order to try to be good enough.
We created an image of how we should be in order to be accepted by everybody.
But this image is not real. We are never going to be perfect from this point of view.
Not being perfect, we reject ourselves.
We have the need to be accepted and to be loved by others, but we cannot accept and love ourselves.
The more self-love we have, the less we will experience self-abuse.
Self-abuse comes from self-rejection, and self-rejection comes from having an image of what it means to be perfect and never measuring up to that ideal.
Our image of perfection is the reason we reject ourselves; it is why we don’t accept ourselves the way we are, and why we don’t accept others the way they are.
Prelude To A New Dream
There are thousands of agreements we have made with ourselves.
One single agreement is not such a problem, but we have many agreements that make us suffer, that make us fail in life.
If you want to live a life of joy and fulfillment, you have to find the courage to break those agreements that are fear-based and claim your personal power.
The agreements that come from fear require us to expend a lot of energy, but the agreements that come from love help us to conserve energy and even gain extra energy.
Unfortunately, we spend all our personal power first to create all these agreements and then to keep these agreements.
If we can see it is our agreements that rule our own life, and we don’t like the dream of our life, we need to change the agreements.
There are four very powerful agreements that will help us to break those agreements that come from fear and deplete our energy.
If you begin to live your life with these agreements, instead of living in a dream of hell, you will be creating a new dream, your personal dream of heaven.
Be Impeccable with Your Word
The first agreement is the most important one and also the most difficult one to honor.
It is so important that with just this first agreement you will be able to transcend to the level of existence Don Miguel calls heaven on earth.
Why your word?
Through the word, you express your creative power.
It is through the word that you manifest everything.
What you dream, what you feel, and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word.
The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human, animals can’t speak.
But like a sword with two edges, your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you.
One edge is the misuse of the word, which creates a living hell.
The other edge is the impeccability of the word, which will only create beauty, love, and heaven on earth.
The word is so powerful that one word can change a life or destroy the lives of millions of people, like Hitler did.
Hitler’s word, based on fear-generated beliefs and agreements, will be remembered for centuries.
One fear or doubt planted in our mind can create an endless drama of events.
During our domestications, our parents and siblings gave their opinions about us without even thinking.
We believed these opinions and we lived in fear over these opinions, like not being good at swimming, or sports, or writing.
For example, someone gives his opinion and says, “Look, this girl is ugly!” The girl listens, believes she is ugly, and grows up with idea that she is ugly.
If you believe you are stupid, and someone hooks your attention and says, “Yes, you are really the most stupid person I have ever met,” the agreement will be reinforced and become even stronger.
By hooking our attention, the word can enter our mind and change a whole belief for better or for worse.
Now let us see what the word impeccablity means.
Impeccability means “without sin.” Impeccable comes from the Latin pecatus, which means “sin.” The im in impeccable means “without,” so impeccable means “without sin.”
A sin is anything that you do which goes against yourself.
When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself.
If I see you in the street and I call you stupid, it appears that I’m using the word against you. But really I’m using my word against myself, because you’re going to hate me for this, and your hating me is not good for me.
If I love you, then you will love me. If I have gratitude for you, you will have gratitude for me.
Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself.
Don’t Take Anything Personally
The next three agreements are really born from the first agreement. The second agreement is don’t take anything personally.
Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally.
Using an earlier example, if I see you on the street and I say, “Hey, you are so stupid,” without knowing you, it’s not about you; it’s about me.
If you take it personally, then perhaps you believe you are stupid.
Maybe you think to yourself, “How does he know?”
Personal importance, or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about “me.”
Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.
All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in.
Their point of view comes from all the programming they received during domestication.
Even if someone tells you something positive, don’t take it personally.
Because when people are happy they will be nice and when they are mad at you they will be rude.
Someone might tell you that they have been hurt by what you said, but again don’t take it personally.
Because it’s the wounds of that person that you touched by what you said. They are hurting themselves.
You should not take it personally because they see the world with different eyes, with their eyes.
A person’s point of view is something personal to them.
Whatever people do, feel, think, or say, don’t take it personally.
If they tell you how wonderful you are, they are not saying that because of you.
You know you are wonderful.
It is not necessary to believe other people who tell you that you are wonderful.
Don’t take anything personally because by taking things personally you set yourself up to suffer for nothing.
Don’t Make Assumptions
The third agreement is don’t make assumptions.
We have the tendency to make assumptions about everything.
The problem with making assumptions is that we believe they are the truth.
We make assumptions about what others are doing or thinking, we take it personally, then blame them and react by sending emotional poison with our word.
Because we are afraid to ask for clarification, we make assumptions; then we defend our assumptions and try to make someone else wrong.
It is always better to ask questions than to make an assumption because assumptions set us for suffering.
Making assumptions in our relationships is really asking for problems.
Often we make the assumption that our partners know what we think and that we don’t have to say what we want.
We assume they are going to do what we want because they know us so well.
If they don’t do what we assume they should do, we feel so hurt and say, “You should have known.”
We make all sorts of assumptions because we don’t have the courage to ask questions.
We also make assumptions about ourselves, and this creates a lot of inner conflicts.
“I think I am able to do this.”
You make this assumption, for instance, then you discover you aren’t able to do it.
You overestimate or underestimate yourself because you haven’t taken the time to ask yourself questions and to answer them.
The way to keep yourself from making assumptions is to ask questions.
Make sure the communication is clear.
If you don’t understand, ask.
Have the courage to ask questions until you are clear as you can be, and even then do not assume you know all there is to know about a given situation.
Once you hear the answer, you will not have to make assumptions because you will know the truth.
Without making assumptions your word becomes impeccable.
Always Do Your Best
This is the last agreement that allows the other three to become deeply ingrained habits.
Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less.
But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next.
Regardless of the quality, keep doing your best, no more and no less than your best.
If you try too hard to do more than your best, you will spend more energy than is needed and in the end your best will not be enough.
When you overdo, you deplete your body and go against yourself, and it will take you longer to accomplish your goal.
But if you do less than your best, you subject yourself to frustrations, self-judgment, guilt, and regrets.
If you always do your best there is no way you can judge yourself.
If we like what we do, if we always do our best, then we are really enjoying life.
We are having fun, we don’t get bored, we don’t have frustrations.
Doing your best really doesn’t feel like work because you enjoy whatever you are doing.
If you take action because you have to, then there is no way you are going to do your best.
Then it is better not to do it.
You do your best because doing your best all the time makes you so happy.
The first three agreements will only work if you do your best.
Don’t expect that you will always be able to be impeccable with your word.
Your routine habits are too strong and firmly rooted in your mind.
But you can do your best.
By doing your best, the habits of misusing your word, taking things personally, and making assumptions will become weaker and less frequent with time.
You don’t need to judge yourself, feel guilty, or punish yourself if you cannot keep these agreements.
If you’re doing your best, you will feel good about yourself.
The Four Agreements are a summary of the mastery of transformation, one of the mysteries of the Toltec.
Your transform hell into heaven.
The dream of the planet is transformed into your personal dream of heaven.
In the beginning following those Four Agreements will be hard, so difficult.
So if you fall, do not judge.
Do not give your Judge the satisfaction of turning you into a victim.
No, be tough with yourself.
Stand up and make the agreement again.