Free Your Mind

The challenge is not to free your mind.

The challenge is to free your self from your mind.

 

This post by Gary van Warmerdam at http://www.toltecspirit.com/2010/02/free-your-mind/

Where you can find Wisdom of the Four Agreements for Spiritual Warriors

For practical steps and exercises to inventory and change your own beliefs/agreements there are exercises in the Self Mastery course.

A Word about Truth

Words aren’t the truth.  Words are symbolic meanings for something real or abstract.  Words are not truth so there is no sense in investing any faith in them.

But if you listen carefully to honest people you might find kernels of truth within the packaging of their words.

Four Agreements Companion Book

A question from a subscriber to my on line course in Self Mastery,,,

Hello Gary,

I started reading The Four Agreements Companion Book yesterday and noticed that it had exercises like your Self Mastery program.  The first exercise in the book was dealing with image of perfection but I’m still about ten sessions away from your Image of Perfection session.

I am aware that the sessions in your program are in an order for a purpose, so I wasn’t sure if it would be okay to continue reading the book or not.

Should I… continue reading the book and do the book exercises with your program? or stop reading the book until I finish your program?

Thanks for your time,

Curious

Hi Curious,

The Four Agreements Companion book is great and I recommend that you read it.  However most people I’ve talked to that have attempted the exercises have gotten overwhelmed.   They see so much of their belief system so fast without first having control over their attention that they slip into a victim point of view.  That induces a feeling of overwhelm, powerlessness, and then hopelessness.   Then their inner judge kicks in and berates them for failing.   They lose motivation and close the book,,, stop the exercises…  defeated.   They end up feeling worse than when they started.

So that’s one of the reasons why I don’t start with the  Image of Perfection beliefs.  It’s also why I have people develop some other skills over their attention and beliefs before trying to change their whole belief system.  It’s like eating beef.  It’s much easier to do one bite at a time so you don’t get crushed by the whole animal.

By all means read the Four Agreements Companion Book.  But, I’d suggest doing the exercises in the Self Mastery before starting the exercises in the book.  And if you want to challenge and dissolve your Image of Perfection beliefs, (which is a necessary step to eliminating self judgments) then I suggest the using the steps in the Advanced Series of the Self Mastery program instead of the Four Agreements Companion book approach.   In the Advanced Series I not only walk you through changing the Image of Perfection beliefs, but also walk you through the different issues of resistance that come up to letting these go.

After that, you’ll be better prepared to do the exercises suggested  in the Four Agreements Companion book.

Hope that helps,

Gary

Original post at ToltecSpirit.com a Four Agreements resource for Spiritual Warriors
http://www.toltecspirit.com/2009/12/four-agreements-companion-book/

Power and Worth

There are associations that our mind makes, particularly where our self importance is concerned.  We build a self image structure of beliefs.   In that structure of beliefs we usually think of people in powerful positions, as being more important.  The associated belief is that if we have less power, then we are less important.  And to our belief system less importance means less worth.

The emotional math we do with our self image is to associate our self worth to our power.  The more power we wield, the more important and valued we are.  The less power we have, the the less we feel we are worth.

This is all to say that we use the subject of power to create beliefs about our self worth.  While that may seem to make sense to some people,,,, what gets really weird is when you become aware of the kinds of power we usually use to base our self worth on.

The Four Agreements – Why is it so Hard?

Living by the Four Agreements,,, why is it so hard?

We read the book the Four Agreements and feel better by the simple clarity it presents.  It tells us something about our self, other people, and the world that we have always known, but not been able to put into words.  With that clarity we have a sense of hope and excitement about changing our life and our relationships.  It is possible to end the drama of emotional suffering and be happy.

We take the next step and adopt the four agreements as principles and practices that we continually live by.  We are excited about the possibility, but then the reality sets in. Living our lives by the Four Agreements is challenging.  It can even appear impossible.  Why is it so hard when they are so simple?

We Make Endless Assumptions

It is because we have been practicing doing the exact opposite for almost our entire life.  From the time we were 2 or 3 years old we have been making assumptions.  We do it so continually we aren’t even aware how automatically we do it so often.

We Take Everything Personally

We also assume that we are the center of the world.  We assume that people do things because of us.   People react to what we say or do and we think it is about us. We aren’t aware that they have their own beliefs and interpretations that cause them to react.  This assumption blinds us to personalize everything to our own point of view.  We have done this for years and practiced it until we do it automatically.  We have become masters of taking things personally.

We don’t believe we do our best.

The judge in our mind has been hard at work telling us what to do for years.  It has been a constant reminder of what we should and shouldn’t do.  In our child hood we learned to follow it as a god like authority in our life.  We wouldn’t dare question what it tells us we should be.  Because our obedience to that inner judge we never feel like we are doing our best.

Living by the Four Agreements is a Life Changing Commitment

All of this, making assumptions, interpreting everything from our own personal point of view, and living by the voice of the inner judge is the exact opposite of the Four Agreements.  And we have been doing it for years.  Practicing it every day for years,,, the exact opposite of the Four Agreements.

When you decide to adopt the Four Agreements you are changing the course of so many of the habits of your life.  You will not make these changes in one day, or even one week.  However, if you work at it over time, you can make extraordinary changes in your life.

If you decide to adopt the Four Agreements as a means to change your relationships and your life, don’t do it for a day or a week.  Decide to do it a little bit each day for a year.  Then see how much you have changed.  To attempt to measure your results in a week, or a month is to make a gross error assumption in the magnitude of your undertaking.
For practical exercises in implementing the Four Agreements take advantage of the free sessions in the Self Mastery Audio Program.

This post originally posted at The Four Agreements by Gary van Warmerdam

Search for Truth

The search for truth is often an iterative search.

Let’s say that you have a lot of false beliefs in your mind and they distort your perception and clarity of life, events, other people, and understanding your self.  Let’s assume a number and say that 50% of your beliefs are false and 50% of your assumptions and beliefs are true.  If you read a book that is 60-70% truth, it could have extraordinary insights on truth. It could open your mind to more truth and help shatter many of your illusions.

While it can be an incredible book that brings you clarity on so many things, you will still have 30-40% illusions in that book, and in your mind. Perhaps what is more interesting is that the clarity that book gives you might inspire you to faith in everything it says, even those things that are illusions.  You become inspired and passionate about a book that is 30-40% illusions even though it gave you great insights.  For you it is as if you found something that was “The Truth.”

Now imagine another scenario.  Imagine that a person that lives under many more false beliefs than you do.  Imagine someone’s mind where 70-80% of their beliefs are false, or distorted by false assumptions.   Imagine that they read the same book that has truthful clarity of 60-70%.

Do you think that they will just completely understand and accept the information in that book?  The truth of what that person reads will be in conflict with their existing set of beliefs.  The ideas in that book will be in conflict with so much of what they already accept as true.  The belief system in their mind will reject the ideas on the page as not true.  To accept as true the material in that book would mean the collapse of so much of the structure of their belief system.  This would be uncomfortable and in an effort to avoid that discomfort their mind would reject the new ideas even though they have greater clarity.

When the mind is full of illusions there is no room for the truth.  The existing set of beliefs rejects any ideas that are contradictory to it’s current structure.  When in search of The Truth it can be more valuable to empty your mind of false beliefs than to attempt to fill it up with more truthful ones.

For specific exercises for identifying and dissolving fear based beliefs based in the Four Agreements, begin with the free practices in the Self Mastery audio program.

The original  post located at The Search for Truth

The Mitote

The “mitote” (me-toe-tay) as described in The Four Agreements, refers to the cacophony of voices in your head.  They are all talking but none of them seem to listen.

The mitote is driven by all those false beliefs, self importance, fears, layers of denial and justifications.  As you become aware the mitote can appear to be an endless stream of useless chatter talking over itself.  Try to turn it off in the beginning and you get a lesson in humility.    As you learn to observe it with neutrality, which is a critical step in dissolving the mitote, you find that it often tricks you by pulling your attention into the conversation.

Yes,,, it is a matrix of illusions.   But you can keep it all straight when you are aware that the truth is simple, so simple that it doesn’t need words.

Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness

Money and the comforts it can purchase can’t protect you from fear.  A big house, in a gated community can’t protect your mind from thoughts, self judgments, and emotions.

A private plane doesn’t protect you from the fear of flying.  A life insurance policy for $10,000,000 doesn’t insulate you from the fear of death, ill health, or the fear of losing a loved one.

No amount of money can protect you from an untamed mind that can take your emotions into a downward spiral of suffering.

If money buys happiness then Howard Hughes would have been one of the happiest people in the world. As it turns out his money didn’t protect him from his thoughts, beliefs, and fears.

The reason part of the mind looks for simple rules to describe the nature of emotions like happiness.  What people find difficult to accept is that one exception like Howard Hughes breaks the rules. Money doesn’t by happiness.  It’s just one factor of how your mind affects your happiness and your emotions.

What can protect you from fear, self judgment, and false beliefs is awareness and love.  Awareness and Love can create and insure happiness.