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What Kind of Messenger Are You?
Since 1997, the Toltec teachings of don Miguel Ruiz have become known worldwide. His first book, The Four Agreements, became a New York Times best-seller and has sold around 4 million copies. His son, don Jose Ruiz, has begun to teach with don Miguel, and their collaboration has lead to the creation of The Fifth Agreement - a deeper and more intricate "guide to self-mastery."
This excerpt, from the chapter "The Three Languages," discusses the ways in which we communicate and express ourselves, as well as interpret others:
The messengers of truth
The fifth agreement is the most advanced teaching of the Toltec, because it prepares us to return to what we really are: messengers of truth. We deliver a message every time we speak, and if we don’t deliver the truth, it’s because we aren’t aware of what we really are. Well, the Four Agreements help us to recover awareness of what we are. They help us to become aware of the power of our word. But the real goal is the fifth agreement, because it takes us beyond symbology and makes us responsible for the creation of every word. The fifth agreement helps us to recover the power of belief that we invested in symbols. And when we go beyond symbols, the power that we find is incredible because it’s the power of the artistic creator, the power of life, the real us.
The fifth agreement is for what I call messenger training, or angel training, because it’s for messengers who are aware that they have a message to deliver. Angel is a Greek word meaning “messenger.” Angels really exist, but not the angels of religion with wings. We are all messengers; we are all angels, but we don’t have wings, and we don’t believe in angels with wings. The religious story about angels with wings is just a symbol, and as a symbol, the wings mean that angels can fly.
Angels fly and they deliver information, a message, and the real message is life, or truth. But there are so many messengers in this world who don’t deliver life, who don’t deliver truth. The world is populated by billions of messengers, with or without awareness. It’s obvious that the majority are without awareness. They are programmed to deliver and receive a message, but they don’t know they are messengers. The majority of the humans on earth have no idea that the symbols are their own creation. They have no idea where the power of the symbols comes from, which means that the symbols have complete control over them.
Be skeptical, but learn to listen
What kind of messengers are they? The answer is obvious. You see the consequences in the world. Just look around, and you will find out what kind of messengers they are. When you find that out, the fifth agreement makes even more sense. Be skeptical, but learn to listen. What will make a difference in these messengers? The answer is awareness. That is what messenger training does for us. It helps us to become aware of the kind of message that we are delivering in this world.
The three languages of humans
From the Toltec point of view, there are only three ways to deliver a message, or we can say that there are only three languages in the world of the humans: the language of gossip, the language of the warrior, and the language of truth.
1. The Language of Gossip
The language of gossip is the one that all humans speak. Everybody knows how to gossip. When we speak this language, our message is distorted; we gossip about everything around us, but mainly we gossip about ourselves. If we go to another country where people speak a different language, we find that it doesn’t matter what symbology they use, they speak like us, in the language of gossip, in what I call the big mitote. In the ordinary dream without awareness, the big mitote takes over the human mind and creates all the misunderstandings, all the distortions in the way we interpret the meaning of words.
The language of gossip is the language of the victim; it’s the language of injustice and punishment. It’s the language of hell, because all that gossip is made purely by lies. But humans will always gossip because we are programmed to gossip until something shifts inside of us that is also in the program. This is when we rebel against the gossiping, and the war begins in our head — the war between truth and lies.
2. The Language of the Warrior
The second language is that of the warrior. When we speak this language, sometimes we speak the truth, and sometimes we speak lies, depending on our awareness. Sometimes we believe the lies, which takes us directly to hell, and sometimes we believe the truth, which takes us directly to heaven. But we still believe, which means the symbols still have the power of our belief. As warriors, we jump from one dream to the other dream; sometimes we are in heaven, sometimes we are in hell. As you can imagine, the language of the warrior is a thousand times better than the language of gossip, but again, humans are programmed to shift the language we speak, and to speak one more language.
3. The Language of Truth
The third language is the language of truth, and when we speak this language, we hardly speak. At this point, we know without a doubt that the symbols we use are our creation. We know that we give the meaning to all those symbols to communicate with our own kind, and we use symbols with impeccability, the best we can, to deliver our message, to deliver ourselves, because we are the message. Finally, there are no more lies, and there are no more lies because we have mastered awareness, because we see ourselves as life, as truth.
The language of truth is very exclusive because it’s the language of the dream master, the artist who has mastered the dream. In the world of the master, there is always music, there is always art, there is always beauty. The master artists are always happy. They are at peace, and they enjoy their lives.
These three ways of communicating are what I call the languages of 1-2-3, A-B-C, and Do-Re-Mi. The language of gossip is 1-2-3 because it’s simple to learn, and it’s the language that everybody speaks. The language of the warrior is A-B-C, because the warrior is the one who rebels against the tyranny of the symbols. The language of truth is Do-Re-Mi, because it’s for artists who have music in their heads instead of a big mitote.
The language of Do-Re-Mi is the one that I like to speak. My head is always full of music because music distracts the mind, and when the mind is not in the way, it’s pure intent. I know that all that music in my head is nothing but a dream, but at least I’m not thinking and making a story.
Symbols tell a story
Of course, I can make a story if I want to, and it can be a beautiful story. I can focus my attention on the symbols, and use the symbols that you understand to communicate with you. I can also use the symbols to hear what you say. Usually it is about your own story. You tell me many things that you believe are true, and I know they are not. But when you tell me, I listen, and then I know exactly where you are coming from. I see what perhaps you don’t see. I see the real you, not what you pretend to be. What you pretend to be is so complicated that I don’t even bother to try to understand it. I know it is not you. The real you is your presence, and it’s as beautiful and wonderful as anything on this earth.
When you see a rose, open and beautiful, its very presence makes you feel wonderful. You don’t need to tell yourself how wonderful that rose is; you can see all the beauty and romance of that rose. You smell the rose, and the rose never says a word. You understand the message, but not with words. If you go to a forest, you see birds talking to birds, and trees talking to trees, with another kind of symbology. You can see the inner communication of everything around you, and it’s amazing.There are messengers everywhere in this world, but have you ever thought about it?
Have you ever noticed that since you arrived in this world, you’ve always been delivering a message? Even before you were born, when your mother became aware that she was pregnant, your message was there. Your parents could hardly wait for your arrival, for the moment of your birth. They knew that a miracle was happening, and as soon as you were born, you delivered the message right away with no words. They felt your presence. It was the birth of an angel, and the message was you.You were the message, and you still are the message, but you’ve been distorted by the reflection of the other messengers. It’s not the messengers’ fault, it’s not your fault, and in fact it’s nobody’s fault. The distortion is perfect because only perfection exists, but then you grow up, you become aware, and you can choose to deliver a different message. You can choose to become a better reflection of life by changing the language you speak. You can change the way you deliver a message, the way you communicate with yourself and with other people.
Now a simple question for you. I want you to understand the question, but don’t allow that voice in your head to answer the question. Just allow these words to go directly into your heart, where you can feel the meaning and intent behind the words. This is the question: What kind of messenger are you? This is not a judgment. It’s just a little doubt for your mind, but it’s a big step into awareness. If you understand the question, then just this little doubt can change your whole life.
© Miguel Angel Ruiz, M.D., Jose Luis Ruiz, and Janet Mills
The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery is a sequel to "The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)", published in 1997.
About the authors:
DON MIGUEL RUIZ
For nearly three decades, don Miguel Ruiz has shared his unique blend of ancient wisdom and modern day awareness through lectures, workshops and journeys to sacred sites around the world. Sales of his books have soared to more that seven million copies in the United States alone, and have been translated into more than 30 languages worldwide.
DON JOSE RUIZ
In the tradition of his ancestors, don Jose Ruiz 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 the sacred sites around the world.
Interview and book excerpts from The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery©2010 by don Miguel Ruiz and don Jose Ruiz reprinted with permission from Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc., San Rafael, California http://amberallen.com.