Amazon describes the book “The Four Agreements” as offering a powerful code of conduct that can
rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love. The author reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering.
I describe is as the “best book per word” I have ever read. This series is on the subsequent book “The 5th Agreement.”
Where they cover and expand upon the original 4 agreements – and add new wisdom.
THE POWER OF DOUBT
The Fifth Agreement: Be Skeptical, but Learn to Listen
Be skeptical because most of what you hear isn’t true. You know that humans speak with symbols, and that symbols aren’t the truth.
But the second half of the agreement is learn to listen, and the reason is simple: When you learn to listen, you understand the meaning of the symbols that people are using; you understand their story, and the communication improves a lot.
Be skeptical is masterful because it uses the power of doubt to discern the truth. Doubt your previous thoughts on the topic – and listen
Whenever you hear a message from yourself, or from another artist, simply ask: Is it truth (by the strictest definition of the word), or is it not truth?
Is it reality or is it a virtual reality?
Can you PROVE absolutely that it’s real?
The doubt takes you behind the symbols, and makes you responsible for every message you deliver and receive.
You know that most of our knowledge isn’t true — the whole symbology isn’t true — so don’t believe me,
don’t believe yourself,
and don’t believe anybody else.
The truth doesn’t need you to believe it; the truth simply is,
and it survives whether you believe it or not. Lies need you to believe them. If you don’t believe lies, they don’t survive your skepticism, and they simply disappear.
But skepticism can go in two directions. One way is to pretend to be skeptical because you think you’re too smart to be gullible. “Look at how intelligent I am. I don’t believe in anything.”
This is not skepticism. To be skeptical is not to believe everything you hear, and you don’t believe because it’s not the truth, that’s all. The way to be skeptical is just to be aware that the entire humanity believes in lies.
Every artist distorts the truth, but you don’t need to judge what somebody says, or call that person a liar. All of us tell lies in one way or another, and it’s not because we want to lie. It’s because of what we believe; it’s because of the symbols we learned, and the way we are applying all of those symbols. WE BELIEVE THE SYMBOLS YOU LEARNED ARE TRUE.
People will come to you and tell you their personal story. They will tell you their point of view, what they believe is truth. But you won’t judge if it’s truth or if it’s not truth. You don’t have any judgment, but you do have respect. You listen to the way other people express their symbols, knowing that whatever they say is distorted by their beliefs. You know that what they are telling you is nothing but a story, and you know that because you can feel it. You just know.
You already have the awareness that all artists live in their own dream, in their own world. In that world, whatever they perceive is truth for them…..
……. and it could be that it’s absolutely true for the artists who are expressing their story, but it’s not truth for you. The only truth for you is what you perceive in your world. With this awareness, there’s nothing to prove to anyone.