Tuesday, April 26, 2016

NICK'S NOTES | The Fifth Agreement - Don Miguel Ruiz, Don Jose Ruiz

Chapter 1 | In The Beginning - It's All in the Program

      You were born to be you. You were born with a set of instructions, a program that is you and is complete. As a young child, you follow your instincts and immerse yourself in what makes you happy. As you grow older, you learn to communicate. As every living thing on this planet, you interact and use a set of symbols that is entirely your own. Symbols are signs, words, pictures, sounds or actions. There are thousands of symbols for us to learn. When we are young, we are using these symbols to speak. We use the symbols to gain more knowledge about religion, social and moral codes. We learn "right" from wrong and are put through a series of punishment and reward by our teachers and parents. Out of the fear of being punished, we aim to please other people. We were told how to believe without a given opportunity to choose what to believe.
      Our attention is the channel that funnels information from the outside to our minds. You cannot teach someone anything and you cannot learn something from someone without attention. As we grow, we ask questions, and once you learn to speak from all this information, that's when you begin to think. As we grow we give meaning to these symbols, which helps us form opinions. We listen and trust the opinions of our family and teachers. We have listened and believed them for years and the only way to avoid rejection and the feeling of not being good enough, may result in some of us not becoming who we are really are. That's when we create an image of perfection, the way we wish to be. There begins the process of not liking ourselves. "Look at how ugly you are, look at how stupid you are." We don't even realize that we've put our own symbols against us. Children are creative, free and are in exploration mode. The process of domestication makes us lose our natural human tendencies, which leads us to searching for them as we grow up. We search for happiness when we have none, we search for beauty when we don't feel beautiful. We begin our search for love, justice, knowledge and perfection, because it is believed to be outside from what we already know. 

Chapter 2 | Symbols & Agreements - The Art of Humans

      We are constantly making agreements with society and everyone around us, but the most important agreements are the ones we make with ourselves. Symbols are telling us what is true or not, the voice of knowledge in our head telling us what we know, but who tells us what we know is true? Every word has a meaning, not because it's true or real, but because it was agreed upon based on the same symbols. There are many different symbols with languages. When you travel to a different country, you encounter different cultures, beliefs and rituals. Their mythologies have nothing to do with what we've learned. Upon learning about their culture, you may find that a new religion or a new way of being conflicts with wha you have learned before. New beliefs and old beliefs clashing can create doubt. Every word we know is just a symbol, but when you combine faith, it gives words much grander meaning. Different religions and ideologies form by similar symbols coming together and being agreed upon by certain people. But, is it true?

      Truth is objective and we cal it science. Interpreting the truth is subjective and we call it art. Humans are born with awareness for truth, but as we learn more we sometimes deny what we perceive. To be aware means to have your eyes open and that can open the door to possibilities. To master your mind, you must have complete control over your attention and how you interpret and react to the information you discover. Becoming self-aware leads to self-mastery.

Chapter 3 | The Story of You - The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word

      Understanding more about nature, the universe and humans has been going on for thousands of years. Trying to understand can also lead to making assumptions. As artists, we create things defining our world. The point is that we create these things... stories, philosophies and superstitions. Humans are natural born creators with the desire to define ourselves and share our opinions. You were programmed to deliver that message, a message of your life. From when you were born, before you gained all this knowledge, you were your truest self. You loved yourself, trusted yourself and you never pretended to be someone you weren't.

      How do you use your knowledge and describe yourself? Can you see the judgement you have really true? Every opinion is just a point of view, and that view wasn't there when you were born, you learned it. Every thought that you have about yourself is because you learned it. Family, society and strangers define what they think is beautiful, how they think you should look and you agreed with it. Is it really true? The problem isn't knowledge; the problem is a distortion of knowledge and believing it - that is called a lie. What is real and true? Can you see the difference? Or is that voice of knowledge in your head telling you that what you believe is the way things are. Is it really true that you don't deserve happiness? That you don't deserve love?


      Words give you the power of creation. They can either create something beautiful or, if they are misused, they can create destruction and destroy everything around you. It's powerful because it can reproduce an image or an idea in your mind, and it all began with a word. Therefore, your happiness is up to you. It's how you create and use the word. To be impeccable with words means to never use them against yourself. Don't spread gossip or hateful words, they are poisonous. Use your word for truth and love for yourself. Your desires and dreams will come easily to you because there is no fear or resistance, there is only love. You will feel peaceful and fulfilled in more than one way, so always be aware of how you use your words. 

Chapter 4 | Every Mind Is A World - The Second Agreement: Don't Take Anything Personally

     When we are born we had no knowledge of symbols, but we did capture images through light. Those images build our imagination. According to the Toltec, we are constantly dreaming 24 hours a day. In your imagination, you can see things other people can't see, hear things that other people can't hear. Everything you see is going through the filter of your beliefs. Can you see how easy it is for humans to distort the image? Light shines an image of what is real, but the symbols and our beliefs can distort that image. Life is a dream. People from around the world know this. So, are we are aware of our dream? The key to knowing that we are in a dream, is that if you don't like it you can change it. You are in control of your dream, of your life. Your dreaming is the same as your grow older, it is constantly changing. The 10-year-old you doesn't dream the same way as 30-year-old you.


     Everybody lives in their own dream and their own world. They are invested and completely focused on their own story. People will see the image you portray, but it doesn't translate the same to how you portray yourself. People's realities are different. This is why humans have so much conflict. With this awareness comes the simple solution... don't take anything personally. Don't cern yourself over other people's viewpoints, it doesn't matter what they say about you. You don't even have to worry about defending yourself! Don't you feel free?! What you do has nothing to do with anyone else. You are the only one who needs to be concerned with your story.

Chapter 5 | Truth or Fiction - The Third Agreement: Don't Make Assumptions

      The real truth existed long before humans did. We use symbols to create our own truths. The saying "Nobody's perfect" is a famous saying that a lot of people use. But, it is a lie. The truth is, everyone is perfect. We've only created an image as to what we think is perfect. Being aware that perfection exists already is one step; but, we need to believe we are perfect. Who says disability or a disease is imperfect? Our body is completely loyal to us, yet we judge it and abuse it. Our society has placed so much emphasis on what is attractive and what is not. If you don't think you are attractive enough, then you are believing a lie. If you were placed in the past with the knowledge that you know now, people would think you were crazy. So what is the truth and what is fiction? We make assumptions about what we think is true and only true to what we already know.


     Making assumptions is like asking for trouble. They're assumptions, their accusations, they are not truth. Humans are creative creatures with powerful imaginations. There are plenty of stories and opinions in people's heads. This is where most of our conflict comes from. Blending stories of "truth" with other stories only meddles with the message and continues being distorted. Making assumptions is all about your thinking! When we think too much, it can lead to making assumptions. If you imagine and expect the worst to be happening, and then it doesn't happen... you just got worked up over nothing!

Chapter 6 | The Power of Belief - The Symbol of Santa Claus

     At one point, you completely owned your power in belief. Once you became a member of society, you were taught certain symbols that gained power over you. When we are children, we believe everything that we are told, taking it in without any question. this isn't bad/good/right or wrong, it's just how things work. Do you remember how you felt when you realized Santa Claus wasn't real? You were good all year long, you asked for a bicycle and you didn't get it. The boy next door was horrible and mean, asked for a bicycle and ended up getting one. You were angry, hurt and confused and said you'd never be good again. Then you realize Santa isn't real. Believing in such an innocent lie brought out so many emotions that were hurtful and angry.

      Symbols are very powerful. The entire structure of our symbols is called our belief system. Imagine every concept or symbol as a brick, and the belief in them is the glue. This is what the Toltec call the human form. It's not a physical form, it's the form that our mind creates. It's our identity, our way to make sense of everything. Our belief systems comes to live within ourselves and can rule over us. It uses our own knowledge against us and judges us and belittles us. It takes power away from the real us, which makes the real us hide away even further. This structure only exists because it was created by us.

     Remember to be aware of our beliefs, because they are alive. We are giving it life by giving it all of our attention. It's easy to invest yourself in a symbol like Santa Claus, the idea is to become more aware of what we invest our beliefs in. This can help restore our faith back to us, and it is your choice to create and invest your faith into anything you want to believe; that takes action, not thinking. Actions will make the biggest difference. 

Chapter 7 | Practice Makes the Master - The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best

     Being aware of yourself is the most important part in changing your agreements and your life. But change is the result of action, so you must be active in practicing. Choosing to follow and practice the agreements can lead to you choosing to be your authentic self.


    Do your best, no more and no less. Do! Take the action needed to make a change. You can't do anything without action. Giving 100% is important, but remember that your best is changing. You are always changing, improving and learning and then your best will get better! All good things take time. If you fail to meet an agreement, try to again. Every day you try, you are getting better. You are in complete control of what you think and what you create!

"When you love yourself unconditionally, you are no longer easy prey for an outside predator who wants to control your life. You no longer sacrifice yourself for anyone. If you practice self-love, you will master self-love." - The 5th Agreement
Do you have the courage to be completely honest with yourself? The mastery of transformation is the four agreements combined. This is the process of unlearning what you have already learned. Once you unlearn, you face what you believe. Doubt is a powerful symbol that deconstructs everything...

Chapter 8 | The Power of Doubt - The Fifth Agreement: Be Skeptical, but Learn to Listen

     Being skeptical is good because most of what you hear is not true. Being able to listen during a conversation can allow you to understand someone's story and the meaning behind their own symbols. This does wonders for communication.


     You don't have to agree or form an opinion, you just have to listen. All of us live in our dream and in our own world we created. It can be true to whomever is expressing their story, but it doesn't have to be for you. You don't have to prove anything to anyone. Listening and showing respect is so very important to give to all artists who are creating their own dream. They have the right to believe whatever they want to believe.

     Reacting, disagreeing or agreeing is entirely up to you. Just remember, people have their own dreams and you have yours. be responsible for every choice you make in life. 

Chapter 9 | The Dream of the First Attention - The Victims

      Awareness is the the thing helps you come back to life. You are taught symbols and told that they are true, when in fact they are not true. We are a victim in the sense that we realize everything is a lie, we do not fight it. It is time to unlearn the lies that you have been told your entire life and learn what is the real you. This is the dream of the first attention. The second attention is when you fight all the lies that are in your head, and that's when you begin changing.

Chapter 10 | The Dream of the Second Attention - The Warriors

     This is when we choose to challenge all the lies and things we have learned in our head. During this rebellion we try and gain back our authentic self, the integrity of the self. In the dream of the second attention, warriors are in search for why the symbols had such power. These symbols aren't bad, they are our masterpieces. When we feel powerless we want to be rescued. But you can really only look to yourself to rescue you. You are in charge of you and no one else.

     Tools are there to help you, but you ultimately save yourself and take it upon yourself to heal. These tools can change your world, and the war that is going on in your mind. It's going back to using your attention. You used attention to learn those symbols and dream, and you can use your attention to unlearn that dream. It's all about letting go and believing in yourself. When you trust yourself, you trust your life. This allows you to say what you want, do what you want and realize that you don't have to be a certain way for anyone. It's not important what other people are dreaming, it's only important to what you are dreaming. There's no need to compete or compare with anyone, you were born with everything you need in order to make it.

Chapter 11 | The Dream of the Third Attention - The Masters

     This is the time when we finally accept ourselves for who we are and accept others for who they are. The warriors have won their personal war and are finally at peace.At this point, you don't learn by words you learn by presence. You can feel and perceive who you really are. You are real; you are truth and everything else is a beautiful illusion.

     Every living being, every species on this planet is vital to the equilibrium of this planet. The symbols we've created our to help better understand each other. No one is better or worse than the other person. We are the same and we come from the same place. It doesn't matter what religion, we come from and are headed to the same exact place. It's all about realizing the power that you've always had but now you recognize. You accept yourself, respect yourself and respect those around you. We can control our lives and our dreams by making choices. Each choice will have different consequences, good or bad, but it makes up our own beautiful masterpiece of life. Will power is the force behind making those choices. 

Chapter 12 | Becoming A Seer - A New Point of View

     Learn to see, not just believe. You become a seer when you look past your knowledge and you look past those symbols. You are here to enjoy life. Respect yourself and respect others. Respect can go a very long way. You are always creating yourself and creating your dream. The truth is happening right in front of you, go live!!!

Chapter 13 | The Three Languages - What Kind Of Messenger Are You?

      According to the Toltec point of view, there is only three ways to deliver a message; the language of gossip, the language of the warrior and the language of truth. Gossip is distorted messages, it's the language of the victim. They are messages of lies. The language of the warrior which is sometimes truth and sometimes lies. The language of truth hardly requires talking at all. We already know ourselves, our symbols and the dreams we've created.

     The real you is your presence, so what kind of messenger are you? You deliver messages to yourself and the people around you. Are you kind to others? Are you kind to yourself? You are constantly delivering messages to people and to yourself without even knowing it. Be who your authentic self, enjoy life and to love. 

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