The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements
Miguel Ruiz
Hardcover, 168 pages
Published September 14th 2001 by Amber-Allen Publishing
First published 1997
ISBN 9781878424501

In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

Self-help, philosophy, or inspirational. Where this one falls within the shelves, I'm not entirely sure. Most classified it as a book focused on spirituality and I definitely have an argument with that one. I will say this with absolute certainty though: The introduction flew right over my head. So it took a re-read to settle my thoughts and thoroughly process the three page prologue. Sad. But true.

And unfortunately, I went from a numbing confusion to a deep depression with The Domestication of Humanity. Ouch!

If we compare the dream of human society with the description of hell that religions all around the world have promulgated, we find they are exactly the same. 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.

The gist of this book is a simple one. We are living a dream. A dream constructed by others, shaped by those who love us, and agreed upon by ourselves. It is our hell. And knowing that I am personally molding the hell in which my son will grow, suffer, and war within simply by rewarding him in my efforts to teach right from wrong... it's not such a happy thought.

2 out of 5 stars.

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