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The Four Agreements

  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best

From The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Anthropologists know the Toltec as a nation or a race that lived thousands of years ago in a region just outside what is now Mexico City in an ancient city of pyramids. Tradition says the Toltec were scientists and artists who formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge and practices of the “ancient ones”. The masters were called naguals.

In 1997 Don Miguel Ruiz wrote a book called The Four Agreements, which highlighted the insights of his Toltec ancestors. A surgeon by profession, Ruiz had a life changing experience during a near fatal accident that resulted in his desire to understand his heritage and spirituality. After years of study with his mother and completing an apprenticeship with a shaman in the Mexican desert, he continued the traditions of the naguals.

There are two things that struck me about Ruiz’s book and story. The first are the agreements themselves. Ruiz weaves the knowledge he gained into a simple format with these practical agreements. Like the Six Mistakes Of Man by Cicero (see April 9th weekly message), the Toltec insights still apply in this day and age. As I read them, I understood their message as it applied to my spiritual journey and lifestyle. I can honestly say that I have broken all the agreements at one time or another.

The second thing that occurred to me was Ruiz’s determination to get in touch with his unique heritage. For some people this is very easy, as traditions are passed down through many generations. For others heritage must be discovered through third party sources. It is worth a little research, for understanding one’s heritage can definitely stir one’s spiritual senses.

This past week, my spouse and I went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to explore a Smithsonian exhibition called The Vikings. Being of Scandinavian descent, I was particularly interested in learning more about my heritage. Far beyond the stereotype of the ruthless, violent barbarians that we have seen in the movies, these people were inventive, resourceful, and courageous. At one time I turned to my spouse and commented on the sense of pride I felt.

Gleaning wisdom from the past makes us aware that we are facing the same challenges on a spiritual level that have stared in the face of humankind since the beginning. Putting that wisdom into practice is the legacy of their soul.

With respect, acceptance, and love,

R.D. Olson

© R. D. Olson and Awaken The Soul, 2001-2016

Excerpts from The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, copyright 1997, Published by Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc.