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Mystic stories

From Skepticism to Unbreakable Faith

How Skeptics attain a powerful belief system that may lead them to the very secrets of Truth

Interview with Don Miguel Ruiz

 

Please enjoy this brief interview with Toltec Wisdom Teacher Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements (New York Times best-seller), The Mastery of Love and The Voice of Knowledge.

 

Don Miguel’s, The Four Agreements, continues to inspire millions with its powerful wisdom and empowering concepts. In this exclusive interview for “Lotus Guide” Don Miguel speaks about his book ‘The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery’, co-written by Don Miguel and his son, Don Jose Ruiz, who is following in his father’s footsteps as a Toltec Wisdom Keeper and Teacher.

 

The interview gives us powerful insights about how skepticism itself becomes a belief system that may help us find the truth behind the appariences.

 

Q: It seems to me that to be skeptical should be a process of asking, and sometimes demanding, validation for what we have traditionally accepted as true, usually through indoctrination at an early age. But what I’ve noticed is the tendency for people who have maintained a system of skepticism over a period of time to unknowingly slip into “being a skeptic” at which point their skepticism has become a position they take against everything. How do you maintain balance while being skeptical?

 

Don Miguel Ruiz: Yes it’s true that 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 isn’t 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. All humans distort the truth because we are dreaming, and our dream is not the absolute truth. It’s a relative truth — it’s just a point of view.

 

Then how do you “maintain balance while being skeptical?” The answer is awareness and respect. When you’re aware that every human distorts the truth, you use the power of doubt to discern what is true and what is not 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 don’t have to judge if it’s truth or if it’s not truth. You don’t have any judgment, but you do have respect. Respect is so important. All of us have the right to believe whatever we want to believe; we have the right to say whatever we have to say, but if you don’t learn to listen, you will never understand what other people are saying.

 

When you learn to listen, you show respect for the way people express themselves; you show respect for their opinions, for their point of view. You know that whatever they say is distorted by their beliefs. You know that what they’re telling you is nothing but a story. But you also know when their words come from truth, and you know because you can feel it. By listening to the intent behind words, you will understand the real message.

 

Q: The more I dismantle some of the beliefs I’ve been told since I was a child, the greater the mystery of life becomes. This statement sounds profound and engaging, however, the reality is that it brings to the surface many of the fears I have suppressed with my beliefs, such as my mortality. If this particular fear surfaces too early in a persons spiritual growth it is almost assured they will revert back to their earlier belief system to find comfort even though they know, at least at some level, they are pretending to know something that is in fact, unknowable. How can we prepare for this moment that will surely arise, some call it the “dark night of the soul”?

The Four Agreements

Don Miguel Ruiz and his son, Jose Ruiz

Don Miguel Ruiz: In every moment, you make the choice of where you put your attention, and where you put your attention is what you’re going to experience. If you take responsibility for your choices, if you learn to take control of the attention, you prepare yourself for almost anything. You can begin by choosing to keep your attention in the present moment. When your attention is in the moment; you are not afraid of what the future will bring.

 

Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen to me?” To die? We are all going to die, and there’s nothing we can do. We can enjoy the ride, or resist it and suffer. Resistance, however, is futile. We are programmed to die; we are programmed to be what we are, and we can only be whatever we are. But inside the virtual reality of our mind, we can go against Life — against our own programming, and that’s how we create a whole world of resistance. The struggling is just the resistance, and resistance creates suffering.

 

When you surrender to life, everything changes just like magic. You surrender to that force that is coming through your body, through your mind, and it’s a whole new way to see life. It’s a way of being. It’s being life. You are happy wherever you are, whatever you do. Even when you create problems, you enjoy life because you are free, and it’s the freedom that comes when you’re not attached to a particular outcome. You completely surrender, knowing that everything is just the way it is. And because you accept everything as it is, you no longer worry about anything. You know that everything that has happened was meant to happen; you know that you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. Then life becomes exciting because there’s no more fear.

 

Q: It’s been my experience that when people say to have faith in what they’re telling you that it’s nothing more than a license to believe something that lacks evidence. Is there a time and a place for something called faith and what is your definition of it when used correctly?

 

Don Miguel Ruiz: Faith is a force that comes from deep inside us; it’s the power of creation that all humans have, and it doesn’t have anything to do with religion. Faith is the result of an agreement. When you agree to believe in something one-hundred percent without a doubt, you invest your faith. If you have no doubt about what you believe, then for you it is truth, even though it may really be a lie.

 

You can put your faith in scientific theories, in religions, in all sorts of opinions, but this is not real faith. Faith in yourself is the real faith. Real faith is to trust yourself unconditionally, because you know what you really are. What you really are is a force; you are Life. When you have faith in yourself, you respect yourself. You completely accept your body, your emotions, your life, your story. You live your life in love, and you are not afraid to express your love, to say “I love you” to others. And in that moment when you love yourself unconditionally, you only put your faith in agreements that support life, that add to your joy, to your happiness, to your freedom.

 

Q: I know this may be a tough question but being a skeptic as the Fifth Agreement tells me to be, I must ask it. You say that by making the Five Agreements your way of life that you will be living in your personal dream of heaven. Is this not where all religious believers live, and like them, you have no evidence. So my question is how do you know you’re not falling into the area of wishful thinking?

 

Don Miguel Ruiz: Heaven refers to the way we perceive reality; it’s a point of view, a state of mind, and so is hell. We don’t have to die to go to heaven or hell. Heaven is all around us, just as hell is all around us. Whoever believes in truth, lives in heaven. Whoever believes in lies, sooner or later lives in hell.

 

When we are educated to be a member of society, we learn so many lies. Our belief system creates millions of little barriers to the truth, and we inadvertently create our own hell.

 

A personal dream of heaven means a life lived in truth, love, and respect for everything in existence, beginning with yourself. With truth, love, and respect, everything changes. You no longer feel the need to defend your opinions — to be right and to make others wrong.
You accept everything in existence just the way it is, not the way you want it to be. When you decide to love and respect yourself completely, when you learn to love and respect everybody else, then you no longer judge yourself or anybody else.

 

When you give meaning and importance to everything you learned in life, your attention is dispersed on many things at once. When you take away the meaning from everything, you are in communion, and you become the only living being that exists. There’s no difference between you and any star in the sky or you and any rock in the desert. Everything in existence is part of the only living being in existence. When you experience this truth, even for a moment, the structure of your belief system disappears, and you are in that wonderful dream of heaven.

 

In the dream of heaven, you become aware that you are life — not just as a concept, but as an action, as complete awareness. No wishful thinking is involved; in fact, there’s no thought at all. Now you can see with the eyes of truth, and this is a completely different point of view. You see yourself not just from the point of view of a human, but from the point of view of a force. You no longer see everything outside of you as if it’s separate from you. You feel the totality of yourself in everything. You feel yourself as the only living being that exists, and you don’t just feel it; you know it.

 

But first you have to unlearn all the self-limiting agreements that make you suffer in life, and there are Five Agreements that help you to do this: If you are impeccable with your word, if you don’t take anything personally, if you don’t make assumptions, if you always do your best, and if you are skeptical while listening, there won’t be any more conflict in your head; there will be peace. Instead of being your adversary, the voices in your head will become your ally, and instead of guiding your life into drama, they will help you to keep the peace. Then the mind becomes a powerful tool of the spirit; it becomes a powerful ally. The result is a completely different dream: your personal heaven.

 

 

From Skepticism to Unbreakable Faith

 

Meditate… What is Meditation… How to Meditate…..

 

Some time ago i found a funny little story that explained a couple of aspects of the meditation process… Later i found that such simple store was a lot more meaningful than i originally thought, as i will explain, in about why to meditate, how to meditate, what is meditation ultimately, its deepest truth. But let me first of all thank you all for your very kind and appreciative comments. I do not know well how is the google rankings work, and i have in mind that if half of the comments are mine, it might not be convenient for ranking purposes; so, this is some kind of apology for not interacting always personally with each of you.

 

Now let’s go back to the story… perhaps some of you may know it….

I Love My Cow

Naga Arjuna was a very simple man who lived out of the earnings from selling the milk from his cow. He loved his cow. They grew together. He was very sincere but skeptical.

 

One day that his Master of meditation talked about how powerful the mind is and how it can be controled.  He told his Master how he felt about that. He asked “Is it true that our thoughts come to be real? I don’t believe all that”.

 

“Yes Naga Arjuna, your thoughts have that power. All the things that you love, on which you have put your attention and your thinking become reality”.. was the response of the Master.

 

“You need to prove it to me, because I really don’t believe in these things”.

 

“Very good”, said the Master. “Just tell me one thing. Is there anything or anybody that you love the most in the world?’

 

Naga Arjuna was poor and had but just a few relatives and possessions, and out of all he had, what he loved the most was his cow, because his living depended so much on it. So he told the Master: “Yes, there is something. I love my cow very much”‘

Then the Master told him: “Ok. Go into that room for a few days to meditate.. you will be provided of food. In that room you are only to think of your cow: Don’t allow other thoughts to come to you, but only thoughts linked to your cow… what you like about it, what you think of it, why you love it…, and out of all those thoughts, choose the ones you like the most and meditate on them.”

 I think Naga Arjuna’s Master of Meditation summarized so many details about the simple process of meditation in the past few lines.

For several days Naga Arjuna meditated in this way, and at the end of three weeks the Master came back and said. “Naga Arjuna, you can come out of your meditation and come out of that room now”.

 

“Very good, i’ll do that”, said Naga Arjuna. He was pretty detatched from his body, so he stretched a little bit in order to  befit again in his body, just as we also do when we wake up after sleeping all night. Then he walked towards the door.

 

“But just tell me something”, he asked the Master: “how am I going to make my horns pass through that door. It is so narrow!’

 

“Now have you realized what the power of your thinking is?” Asked the Master.

 

“No, i don’t believe in those kinds of things.

 

“But Naga Arjuna, do you remember you got into that room through this same door? How could you do it?.. said the Master, bringing with him a tray with water, that he placed in front of Naga Arjuna, so that he could see his own image reflected in there, and continued telling him: “where are your horns? Naga Arjuna, thus is the world. If in only three weeks of this thinking you believed you were your cow, just think  how the people in the world are transforming themselves when they are thinking of the world and its problems and desires and passions day and night, day and night. This is how everybody is hypnotized, like you were, feeling you were your cow”.

 This moral is great !!!

“All the people think that they are the body because they have not yet seen their own soul. When a child is born his parents give him some training for the body, and the little one learns how to manage his senses and his body. He learns by induction from his parents and relatives, developing thus his ego, and in a few years the child becomes what he was taught by his relatives, that he is the son of a doctor or of an engineer, or the son of a king or of a beggar, and it is very difficult to change his beliefs. His mind is strongly attached to the concepts, the beliefs and the bodies of his relatives and friends, and to his own body, but he knows nothing about the true reality of his own soul.  So, your meditation should be centered in your real Self, which is far beyond anything of this world; beyond the death of the body even, and beyond anything you can imagine. Know your Self. Your soul, the Light of your life, is the very image of God, you don’t need to look  anywhere else. You just need your mind controlled and crystal pure, so that it may reflect the God within you. This should be your meditation”.

 

As always, your comments are welcome…

 

 

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