The Fifth Agreement

The Fifth Agreement

By: Don Miguel Ruiz

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.

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.


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The Four Agreements

by: Don Miguel Ruiz:

  1. Be Impeccable with your Word
    Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
    Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions
    Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
  4. Always Do Your Best
    Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.


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