Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Toltec Wisdom Book

It's been a long time since I've fallen in love with a book. Well, okay, not THAT long. I finally bought the Four Agreements last night (thanks, Christian for putting it on my must-read list a year ago. Do I know how to procrastinate or what?) And the first twenty pages were so jarring for me that I had to put it down and sit in stunned silence-- in amazement, really. It was that simple kind of amazement like experiencing deja vu, or meeting a stranger that feels like your best friend.

Even before getting into the agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz tells a story--a fable, a truth...whatever you want to call it. Within this story were nestled tiny gems, hidden treasures of raw truths. Actually, for me they were nods to things that I have come to believe through different paths, that's the only reason I use the word "truth." It is such an objective word, changing like the seasons, different for every one and every situation. These things that I have accepted as truths, I also accept they may not be truths to others and in a few years they may not even be truths to me. For now, though...they are:

From science I came to believe that everything is light. That light and love and god are all labels for the same thing. I couldn't tell you how I came to believe this. I've tried to backtrack, jump back across the synaptic bridges, dig through dusty neurons, but I only get more lost. Memory is funny this way. The years of details don't stick in my mind, only the conclusions. From Ruiz's introduction:

"And he came to the conclusion that human perception is merely light perceiving light."

From studying photography I have come to believe that our reality is only a reflection of the true nature of things. There was a point in my life when I became obsessed with this idea of reflections and I would watch the world all day in mirrors or surfaces of water or car windows, photographing life only in these reflections because I felt like it was a glimpse into some cosmic joke. How would we know if what we considered to be "reality" only existed as a reflection on the universe's windshield? We wouldn't. His statement on this:

"He also saw that matter is a mirror--everything is a mirror that reflects light and creates images of that light."

Also, I've tried on different belief systems because I do think its important to believe in something. Something bigger and greater and more infinite than this flash of existence on a cold blue rock. The one thing that I could never shake was the feeling that we don't have a choice, that we are limited in our understanding and beliefs by the structure of our physical mind, by the symbols it needs to communicate. Simply, we believe what we are told is the truth, and the more that "truth" is repeated, the stronger our faith in it as "truth." His statement on this:

"Language is the code for understanding and communication between humans. Every letter, every word in each language is an agreement." AND
"The only way to store information is by agreement."

I haven't even got into the four agreements yet and already I have to agree...this is one amazing little book.


Anonymous said...

I can't even verbalize the staggering excitement I'm feeling for you right now. Know why? Because I think we've traveled similar paths in our journey to now...and I always knew that you would not only read it and "get it," you would make good use of it.

In fact, my copy of The Four Agreements is never far from hand...and I think it's time to revisit it front to back. Please keep blogging our wonderful insights as you read, if you can!

Shannon said...

I'm sure I will. I just peeked at the next chapter and his thoughts on "words". So simple yet so powerful. I'm going to try not to devour this book, but ingest it slowly...if that's even possible!

bella said...

I too was mesmerized by this book which I read a little over a year ago. I hesitate to share my feelings about it because my words would somehow clutter what was for me a genuine shift in awareness.
And I feel in so many ways that this past year has been a year of examining and bbreaking some old agreements and learning to be impeccable with my word, to not turn against myself.
I look forward to your further insights and experiences.

Shawn said...

Dang, I will have to read this book. Thanks!

Mika said...

I have been seeing you on Karen's blog, I am trying to keep up with everyone's writing. Very creepy, everyone keeps writing what I am thinking. I was just thinking about the Four Agreements this morning, and I was going to write something about it (but of course with sleep deprivation comes memory loss, so I have no idea what I was going to say)! Happy reading, and great blog btw!

Shannon said...

Hi, Mika...nice to see you here! I think everyone's read this book but me, lol.
ps. At least you still have a reason for your memory loss!

Gary said...

Ah, waxing philosophic. Or, metaphysical, at least...

I'm sorry for you.

I had a bad bout of that, myself, during college, and it took a tanker of Golden Grain and another of El Sombrero's famous margaritas to get me over it.

I'm all better now. Well, I'm still mildly retarded, and no doubt thanks to the cure, but one can't have it all, and I do have these ruggedly handsome looks of mine as a form of compensation! Ehem...

No comment from the peanut gallery on that last bit, thank you very much! ;-p

I love Halloween because it gives me a chance to go out in public and not draw attention to myself... I'm just saying... There, beat you to it, didn't I?!?

Shannon said...

LOL. Back in the saddle for a bit, are we?