One of my loyal followers asked me the following question recently, “Aren’t you contradicting yourself in these recent posts? You spoke back in March about “Death of Self” and now you’re talking about Ruiz’s Toltec Wisdom of “Finding Yourself.” What’s up with that?
First of all, thank you for the question–it’s a great one!
Secondly, this is where reading the books yourself is probably important–you can do your own exploration and interpretation. After all, your story is your story and my story is my story. Your and my “truths” may be quite different.
Finally, however, let me attempt to answer the question from my vantage point and from my very humble and novice perspective.
I actually think that Ruiz’s works, which are based from a foundation of Toltec Wisdom, actually reinforce the “death of self” concept discussed in both Wisdom Jesus and Falling Upward. Here’s why:
- I think the “Agreements,” “Voice of Knowledge,” “Lies,” “Prince of Lies,” “The Parasite,” that Ruiz talks about is the same as the “Egoic Operating System” from Bourgeault and the “First Half of Life” madness that Rohr discusses.
- We get so caught up in our own “lies” (agreements) that we fail to LIVE and LOVE!
- These “right versus wrong” agreements have been built up in our heads for years. We have massive “to do” lists because of these agreements. We try to “keep up with the Joneses” because of these agreements. We judge people by our agreements. We judge ourselves by these agreements. Ruiz is saying to understand that those agreements are not necessarily “The Truth;” they are not necessarily the persons we were born to be but rather years of conditioning by parents, society, teachers, friends, etc.
- “Be impeccable with your word,” is his first agreement in which he encourages us to stop judging, stop controlling, stop playing the victim and return to who we were born to be. Let the agreements die or at least recognize that your truths may not be other people’s truths. Let it go! Let it be.
- He talks about returning to your integrity, to the person you were born to be. So “death of self” is death of the agreements that you hold to be universal truths. This frees you to stop judging yourself and others so harshly –which is the same as Bourgeault’s “unitive operating system” or Rohr’s “second half of life wisdom.”
I think this is why I started to find it difficult to blog a few months ago. I hadn’t read Ruiz’s books yet, but I was feeling like my posts were sounding preachy or advice laden. Who am I to give anyone out there in cyber space advice? My story is my story–not yours. Then my dear friend and blog follower extraordinaire, Pam, recommended Ruiz’s The Four Agreements and his work and passion really resonated with me.
I have a professional colleague that went to The Four Agreements workshop in Mexico a few months ago and I’m having drinks with her in the beginning of June. I can’t wait to hear more about it.
By the way, there’s one of those workshops in Tuscany in October. Anyone up for a road trip???!!!