What Dream Are You Waking Up From?

The first sentence of the first chapter of The Four Agreements says:

“What you are seeing and hearing right now is nothing but a dream.”

While it may sound like he is suggesting that nothing around us is real or grounded in reality, and in a manner of speaking he is suggesting that – the MEANING that we give to what we are seeing and hearing around us is nothing but a dream. Our perception of what we are experiencing, the story we tell, is simply story in our own heads like a dream. And if you have ever experienced a lucid dream, where you are aware that you are dreaming during the dream – if you consciously change one element, the entire dream or story changes. This is the similar to our experience of life – we get a new piece of information added to the mix and all of a sudden what we knew to be TRUE now becomes another truth. And this is the beauty of the Four Agreements: they allow us to question the meaning that we are giving to what we are observing and allow a new meaning to emerge – one that is alignment with who we really are vs. some B.S. (belief system) that someone else told us it means.

It is important to examine what we have been programmed with (domesticated) because the B.S. that is operating in our minds operates much like a software program – it is running in the background that does what it has been instructed to do with whatever input it receives. Ruiz writes,

“The belief system is like a Book of Law that rules our mind. Without question, whatever is in that Book of Law, is our truth. We base all of our judgments according to the Book of Law, even if it these judgments go against our own inner nature…One by one, all these agreements go into the Book of Law, and these agreements rule our dream.”

Through our life experience, at the times our attention gets “hooked” by a situation and those around us offer us their thoughts – when we enter into agreement with it – it becomes a belief and is “entered” into our Book of Law. And where there is law – we also have a Judge to let us know when the law has been broken. The Judge is that part of our self that keeps us in line (or safe – depends on perspective). It lets us know when we have done well or when we’re “bad” – we are judged on our Book of Law, which is made up of the agreements we have made throughout our life, many if not most, written in our Book of Law while we were still children. Ruiz says that 90% of what we believe isn’t even true. TRUTH is not a pre-requisite to be in our Book of Law. Isn’t it time to let the Truth in?

Many choices I made as a child no longer serve me where I am in my life now. If I am going to live a conscious life, I need to stop living from unconscious agreements and beliefs. There is a verse in the Bible that says:

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. (1 Cor. 13:11)

In order for me to really practice the Four Agreements, I need to take some time get clear on what are some of the agreements that I have made that show up in my B.S. – my Book of Law.

Not that everything from the past needs to be put away with, but there might be messages that no longer serve me like: “…be seen and not heard”, “don’t talk to strangers”, ”family is the only ones that can be trusted”, etc…There are beliefs that I am accountable for to the Judge that I no longer agree with, but only with awareness do I have the power to choose.

In the next post, I will share with you a process that I am using to explore my own Book of Law.

Seeing Through the Fog

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I remember the first time that I read it. It was such a breath of fresh air. While it made so much sense, it was also practical. It reminded me of who I am and the power that I do have. I loved it.

Well, it has been more than a couple years since I’ve read, The Four Agreements, but after some recent experiences I have had in my personal life which have caused me to look up and take notice on whats going on around me…really take notice…I decided that it was time for me to reacquaint myself with these four simple ideas which each one on its own can create a dramatic shift in our experience.

The subtitle of the book reads: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom and I believe FREEDOM is something that we are all seeking because it is a key quality of our nature as spiritual beings…freedom. And for there to be any lasting change, if its not practical then how likely it is to be embraced and made part of our way of life?

In the Introduction of The Four Agreements, Ruiz tells a story about a human who was studying to become a medicine man and while studying he felt that “there must be something more” – and it is that that had brought me back to the Four Agreements.

The medicine man had a realization:

“Everything in existence is a manifestation of the one living being we call God. Everything is God. And he came to the conclusion that human perception is merely light perceiving light. He also saw that 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 are. “The real us is pure love, pure light,” he said.”

This is the TRUTH about all of us – love and light. All of us. All. Even those that I don’t agree with, and even those that I have difficulty equating with either love or light. If we are all love and light – then why do I have trouble believing it? It goes back to the Dream – the world of illusion.

“They couldn’t see him as themselves because there was a wall of fog or smoke between the mirrors. And that wall of fog was made by the interpretation of images of light – the _Dream_of humans.”

We don’t recognize the truth of about ourselves and others because of the Dream – this fog that is built of all the beliefs, assumptions, ideas, agreements, interpretations, speculations, suspicions, concepts, and perceptions, that have been accepted as reality by all that have every lived – and then handed off to us as “the way the world works” by those we looked to tell us the Truth. Our parents, guardians, teachers, politicians, ministers, those who “know”. It is part of the process that Ruiz refers to as “domestication.”

The mystic, Meister Eckhart, wrote:

“God is not found in the soul by adding anything, but by a process of subtraction.”

For me this is what I find appealing about The Four Agreements is that is not about adding anything but releasing our hold onto the illusions. They come from the assumption that God is already right here in me, as me. I am that Love and Light and so are you…already…all ready. Practicing these new agreements is about living my life from that place of soul where God is – I don’t have to argue philosophy with someone or convince myself of an idea – I get to chose in each moment whether I’m living from the Dream (the beliefs and programming of others) or from the Truth of who I am.

Today, I look to who and what do I say I AM – how am I using the power of word and intention. Choosing to stay in my own lane without assumptions, knowing that I am doing the best that I can with what I have and where I’m at. I choose today to not let the Dream ADD or define my experience, but to let the Truth back of the Dream – the Love & Light – guide me into a greater experience of my freedom.