If you are willing to take the hallucinogenic spiritual journey, you’ll discover some great takeaways on living a more meaningful and happy life by reading Don Miguel Ruiz’s THE FOUR AGREEMENTS. I’m including a list of similar, but less dreamy books below.
Let’s get to the fun stuff first: the trippy stuff. So the Toltec idea here is that we dream twenty-four hours a day, even when we are awake. Our mind is in a fog called mitote (pronounced mih-toe-tay). In the process of our domestication, we choose to accept, or agree with the presentations of our dreams. We must act like a great hunter and fend off the black magic, seeking to produce a higher dream state similar to godliness and heaven. You still with me?
Now for the core stuff. The most important thing is to be impeccable with your word. In other words, self-speak words of encouragement and love. The other agreements are based upon this main concept. Those other agreements include: don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. That sounds reasonable, right?
Don Miguel Ruiz was raised in Toltec tradition, yet sought a modern medical degree. After an out-of-body experience precipitated by an automobile accident, Ruiz sought to go back to his filial lessons. According to the author’s profile on the book cover, Ruiz continued to be taught in his nightly dreams by his dead grandfather. Admiralty, Ruiz doesn’t confine the book’s teachings to strict Toltec proverb. He quotes Jesus, uses a Buddhist parable, and even references Forrest Gump.
If the spiritual container of delivery suits you, then you may want to explore Deepak Chopra’s SEVEN SPIRITUAL LAWS OF SUCCESS. If you prefer a more grounded, scientific approach, then I recommend Brene Brown’s DARING GREATLY. Ruiz later references the ability to embrace death’s ghost, but an everyday, warm-hearted story to compare would be Mitch Albom’s TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE. And finally, if you want to really dig into how the mind perceives and accepts reality, I recommend Daniel Kahnema’s THINKING, FAST AND SLOW.
I’m giving THE FOUR AGREEMENTS three stars because it is “okay”. The message is tender and uplifting, but much of it gets lost in the abstract presentation.