Fifth Agreement book cover
Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun. There is nothing to justify, nothing to believe. You have no mission except to enjoy life. You are here just to be, for no reason. Then the only thing you need to be is the real you. Be happiness. Be love. Be yourself. That's wisdom. It's the complete acceptance of yourself just the way you are, and the complete acceptance of everybody else just the way they are. The reward is your eternal happiness.

But first you have to unlearn a lot, and you only have one tool to do this. That tool is doubt. Being skeptical is an important part of recovering what you really are because it uses the power of doubt to break all those spells you've been under. Whenever you hear a message from yourself, or from someone else, simply ask: Is it really true? With the power of doubt, you challenge every message you deliver and receive. You challenge every belief that rules your life. Then you challenge all the beliefs that rule society, until you break the spell of all the lies and superstitions that control your world.

Once you recover all the power you invested in lies, you can see what is real; you can feel what is real. Even though lies still exist, you no longer believe them. You don't believe everything anymore, but you can see, and what you can see is the truth. The truth doesn't need you to believe it. The truth simply is, and it survives—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.

Centuries ago, people believed that the earth was flat. Some said that elephants were supporting the earth, and that made them feel safe. The belief that the earth was flat was considered the truth, and almost everybody agreed, but did that make it true? It was nothing but a superstition, and I can assure you that we still live in a world of superstition. The question is: Are we aware of it?

Wherever you go, you will hear all kinds of opinions and stories from other people. You will find great storytellers wanting to tell you what you should do with your life: "You should do this, you should do that, you should do whatever." Don't believe them. Be skeptical, but learn to listen and then make your choices. Be responsible for every choice you make in your life. This is your life; it's nobody else's life, and you will find that it's nobody else's business what you do with your life.

 For centuries, there have been prophets who predicted big catastrophes in the world. Not that long ago, there were people who predicted that in the year 2000 all the computers would fail and society as we know it would disappear. The day arrived, and what happened? Nothing happened. Thousands of years ago, just like today, there were prophets who were waiting for the end of the world. At that time, a great master said: "There will be many false prophets who claim to be speaking the word of God. Don't believe." You see, being skeptical is nothing new. Doubt takes you behind the words and helps you to discern the truth from lies. And this is a good thing.

Don Miguel Ruiz is the international bestselling author of The Four Agreements (a New York Times bestseller for over seven years), The Mastery of Love, and The Voice of Knowledge. His books have sold over seven million copies in the United States, and have been translated into dozens of languages worldwide. For nearly three decades, don Miguel has shared his unique blend of ancient wisdom and modern-day awareness through lectures, workshops, and journeys to sacred sites around the world.

Don Jose Ruiz grew up in a world where anything was possible. From the moment he could speak, he became an apprentice of his nagual (shaman) father, don Miguel Ruiz, and his curandera (healer) grandmother, Mother Sarita. As a teenager, he traveled to India to study with friends of his father, and at the age of twenty-three, he became the successor to the family lineage. In the tradition of his ancestors, don Jose has dedicated his life to sharing the teachings of the ancient Toltec. For the past seven years, he has been lecturing and leading classes across the United States, and at sacred sites around the world.

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