Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Book #5 completed in 2015: The Four Agreements - A Toltec Wisdom Book - A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

This book discusses various self-limiting beliefs, and analyses the "four agreements" which is a code of conduct to help overcome the suffering brought by those limiting beliefs.  This book is filled with various religious, and spiritual references in an attempt to guide the reader to free themselves from the corrupted form that they've been lead into from their upbringing.

My guess is that people love to love this book. I can see how, to some people, it might be motivating, encouraging, inspiring, reflective, and fulfilling, however, I did not feel any of those things while reading it. Honestly, I just found it to be annoying. To be more specific, I found the book to be repetitive, contradictory, and even a little arrogant. It felt like one sentence would talk about how we have no control over our lives and how we perceive things, yet in the next paragraph, it was all about how we have total control over every aspect that affects us. It really just was not my cup of tea, so to speak. I really hate to be so negative towards a book, usually even if a particular book isn't my style or taste, I can at the very least be objective about it, but this one just really rubbed me the wrong way. Aside from the few "quotable moments" noted below, there was really nothing much more of this book that I felt a connection to.
However, even after all that negativity, I will go ahead and be objective in saying that, there is probably a large range of people that would really enjoy and benefit from reading this book. I would recommend this read for people who are religious and/or spiritual, and are maybe at a point in their lives where they are re-evaluating who they are, and therefore looking for guidance to become a new person.

Quotable moments:
"'s not the stars that create light, but rather light that creates the stars." pg. xvi

"...he would always know that matter is a mirror and the smoke in-between is what keeps us from knowing what we are." pg. xix

"Consider how many times you have gossiped about the person you love the most to gain the support of others for your point of view. How many times have you hooked other people's attention, and spread poison about your loved one in order to make your opinion right?" pg. 42-43

"Making assumptions in relationships leads to a lot of fights, a lot of difficulties, a lot of misunderstandings with people we supposedly love." pg. 67

"Just to be, to take a risk and enjoy your life, is all that matters. Say no when you want to say no, and yes when you want to say yes. You have the right to be your." pg. 84-85

"To refrain is not the same thing as repression. To refrain is to hold the emotions and to express them in the right moment, not before, not later." pg. 117

"Life can be very easy when love is your way of life." pg. 127

Have any of you checked out this book? What did you think? Am I just a total skeptic?

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