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.