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don Miguel Ruiz
Awakening-Healing News Index 2003
The Four Agreements
Prominent thousands of years ago, the Toltec were known throughout southern
Mexico as women and men of knowledge. Anthropologists have spoken of the
Toltec as a nation or a race. But the Toltec were scientists and artists who
formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge and
practices of the ancient ones. It may seem peculiar that they combined the
secular with the sacred, but the Toltec considered science and spirit to be
one and the same since all energy, whether material or ethereal, was derived
from the one source and influenced by the same universal laws.
The Toltec came together as masters (Naguals) and students at Teotihuacan,
the ancient city of pyramids outside Mexico City known as the place where
Man becomes God. Here, in order to realize the promise of the work to
transcend the realm of ordinary human awareness and attain their personal
freedom, the apprentices studied the three Toltec masteries: Awareness,
Transformation (Stalking), and Intent. The students had to have the courage
to face and know themselves and, through that knowing, change their way of
life. Teotihuacan remained the Toltec center of spiritual knowledge and
transformation for many thousands of years and still endures as a living
repository of silent knowledge.
Over the millennia, European conquest, coupled with a brief period of
rampant misuse of personal power by a few of the apprentices, forced the
Naguals to conceal the ancestral wisdom and maintain its existence in
obscurity. They thought it was important to shield the knowledge from those
who were not prepared to use it wisely or who might again intentionally
misuse it for personal gain. Fortunately, the esoteric Toltec knowledge was
embodied and passed on through generations by different lineages of Naguals.
Don Miguel teaches that the Toltec knowledge arises from the same essential
unity of truth as all the sacred esoteric traditions around the world.
Though it is not a religion, it honors all the spiritual masters who have
taught on the earth. Though it does embrace spirit, it is most accurately
described as a way of life. Unlike our familiar experience, this way of life
is distinguished by the ready accessibility of happiness and love. The
quality of love in this context is a radical departure from the concept of
love we have been taught. The love most of us have come to know often feels
like pain, makes us suffer with jealousy and need, or compels us to try to
control one another. It is a false image of love, originating in fear and
worn like a mask to protect us from the wounds we believe others inflict on
us. On the other hand, the Toltec concept of love originates in the
intention of the Creator. This love is what we could - if we would -
perceive as divine love, the love with no conditions.
Mastery of the Toltec teachings requires an intellectual understanding of
the knowledge held within the mysteries. To thoroughly learn the material is
time-consuming, but not difficult. However, an extraordinary effort is
required to take the ACTION necessary to experience the benefits of the
wisdom. To reach freedom we have to let go of our false images and the
misconceptions through which we create hell. The greatest challenge requires
piercing the veil of fear that surrounds our beliefs and cleaning our mind
of its emotional poison: the thoughts that make us feel its not possible to
be truly happy, the emotions that make us feel victimized or hopeless, the
beliefs that make us feel we're not pure enough to love or be loved, and the
subtle sensations that whisper our unworthiness to be children of God.
Fortunately, don Miguel tells us that all these judgments were formed in
illusion and therefore have no basis in truth.
Throughout history, humans have tried to place responsibility for their
suffering outside of themselves. Most Societies have long held the
assumption that the ruling body needs to change in order for the human
condition to change. This method has been tried unsuccessfully by hundreds
of generations, each in turn trying to impose their particular form of
illumination. Despite these efforts, the human condition remains essentially
unchanged -societies based on fear and individuals filled with pain. To
further complicate matters, these conditions have become so familiar that it
is hard to recognize the pervasive levels of fear and consequential
suffering that dominate our lives.
The implications are clear: the world reflects our beliefs to us, it does
not create them. Therefore it is not necessary to try to change anyone but
ourselves; in fact, it's impossible. The truth is that change can only occur
when each of us, the individuals who make up humanity, change. Since we are
all fundamentally connected, individual change does create collective
change. When this change manifests, the validity of abstract concepts such
as synchronicity and critical mass is revealed.
There is no doubt that just taking responsibility for our own personal
change requires immense tenacity in the face of equally tenacious obstacles.
However, the rewards are invaluable; as our perceptions change, our
experience of the world changes. The secret to our happiness is locked in
our individual perceptions. We become able to see that everything is
connected in a strange, extraordinary, and rather sweet way.
The path to change is as individual as each of us. The goal is a way of life
that is entirely our own expression and offers us the complete freedom to be
ourselves. Though that may sound simple, it's not.
The Toltec masteries teach us that there's no way for us to change if we
don't understand exactly what we humans are, how we got this way, why there
is so much fear, and why we live in a place that sounds a lot like hell. For
us to change, we need awareness of what the human mind is, how it works, and
how we create and perceive our world. The Toltec described the way the mind
functions as dreaming reality. They described the mind as that which
controls our dream. With newfound awareness of the source of our dream comes
the possibility of changing it.
To gain control of our dream, and to explore existence through awareness, we
must venture beyond the boundaries of the usual beliefs, thoughts and
emotions that form the basis of our understanding of life. Through awareness
we learn that our normal mode of perception has more limitations than
The Toltec knew that the universe is a living being in which the macrocosm
and microcosm mirror one another. Don Miguel teaches that by looking closely
at ourselves, we can advance our knowledge of the macrocosm that is the
universe. However, we must develop our ability to perceive beyond our
reason's capacity, if we are going to understand either one. This is not
easy. The universe is so immense and mysterious that when we venture away
from familiar territory we immediately seek an interpretation that makes us
feel safe, even if it is mistaken.
To support our own personal island of safety, we assume that our perception
is the extent of possibility. Our reason is so limited that it prevents us
from understanding the scope of our power to create reality. So, our reality
is also our illusion, or, more accurately, our own personal dream. You might
even call it a trick of the mind.
Because we share the same narrow range of sensory perception, and a similar
internal dialogue that almost mechanically holds our collective and
individual attention, we find we are able to dream together and agree on a
restricted interpretation of reality. We create a world of objects limited
to the energy most of us can discern. Still, no two people share the same
understanding of reality, or the same dream. The reality that we do share
represents a meager portion of what is available to us within this universe.
There also exists many different energies that are not perceivable as
objects or matter. For instance, we cannot see emotions, thoughts, or
another's dreams. Obviously, that doesn't mean they don't exist; they are a
part of our daily experience and therefore we understand they exist in
ourselves and in others. So, recognizing that each of us is composed of
something more than material energy, we must ask, Who is the I AM? -- Is it
the body, the thinker, or the dreamer?
The Toltec knew that our reason's perception of reality was just a point of
view, one that generally doesn't consider how we fit into an expanding,
living, intelligent universe. As we begin to identify the I AM, we become
aware of how limited we have been conditioned to think we are and how little
of our energy supply we use. To transcend the realm of our old dream and
move into our full potential, we need to transfer the point where we
assemble our perception from our reason to our will. Shifting the source of
our personal power from our mind to our spirit allows us to access silent
knowledge and create the energy necessary to remember what we have
forgotten. We can all dream a new dream and live a life of freedom - it is
simply a matter of choice.
Once we make that choice, we can seek a guide to assist us on our journey to
freedom. Naguals like don Miguel can teach us the Toltec masteries which
reveal the powerful techniques -- ancient and modern -- that are available
to transform our lives and our potential. Under the guidance of the Nagual,
we can harness the vast energy available to each of us, rid ourselves of our
personal demons and false beliefs, and regain control of our own minds. When
we let go of fear we create the space to experience love. With
impeccability, the correct use of this new-found energy, we recognize
everything we do and say as an enormous act of power.
Our final destination on the Toltec journey to personal freedom is an
awareness of the spiritual human as Godself. Here we completely align with
Intent and serve as co-creator in our Earth journey. With full illumination
there is no illusion, and we become free to discover the identity of the I
AM and embrace the light of divinity within.
* * * * * * * * * *
The Four Agreements
Una guía práctica para la libertad personal
don Miguel Ruiz
Trade Paperback ? 60 pages
Canada $17.00 ? USA $10.95
Over 2 million copies of the English edition sold!
This Spanish language edition of The Four Agreements reveals the source of
self-limiting agreements 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.
En Los cuatro acuerdos, don Miguel Ruiz revela la fuente de todas las
creencias que nos ponen límites y nos privan de alegría, creando sufrimiento
inútil. Basados en la antigua sabiduría tolteca, Los cuatro acuerdos nos
ofrecen un poderoso código de conducta que puede transformar inmediatamente
nuestra vida en una nueva experiencia de libertad, dicha absoluta, y amor.
Awakening-Healing News Index 2003
Don Miguel Ruiz was born into a family of healers, and raised in rural
Mexico by a curandera (healer) mother and a nagual (shaman) grandfather. The
family anticipated that Miguel would embrace their centuries-old legacy of
healing and teaching, and carry forward the esoteric Toltec knowledge.
Instead, distracted by modern life, Miguel chose to attend medical school
and become a surgeon.
A near-death experience changed his life. Late one night in the early 1970s,
he awoke suddenly, having fallen asleep at the wheel of his car. At that
instant the car careened into a wall of concrete. Don Miguel remembers that
he was not in his physical body as he pulled his two friends to safety.
Stunned by this experience, he began an intensive practice of self-inquiry.
He devoted himself to the mastery of the ancient ancestral wisdom, studying
earnestly with his mother, and completing an apprenticeship with a powerful
shaman in the Mexican desert. His grandfather, who had since passed on,
continued to teach him in his dreams.
In the tradition of the Toltec, a nagual guides an individual to personal
freedom. Don Miguel Ruiz, a nagual from the Eagle Knight lineage, is
dedicated to sharing his knowledge of the teachings of the ancient Toltec.
For more than a decade, he has worked to impart this wisdom to his students
through lectures, workshops, and journeys to sacred sites around the world.
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