The Code of Conduct is Presented in the Form of Four Agreements (Essay Sample)
The paper was a literary analysis essay. The major requirement was to write an organized, well-supported essay that analyzes the deeper thematic message in a work of literature. I was given several thematic topics that can be combined in unique ways to formulate an individual analyses of The Four Agreements Book by Don Miguel Ruiz. My goal was to choose an angle for a thesis statement that would address a narrow aspect of a specified text. Essentially, I was required to select three topics that are dealt with in The Four Agreements and explain how they are related.
I chose to use the thematic topics of domestication, fear, and suffering
The Code of Conduct is Presented in the Form of Four Agreements
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a self-help book that enables individuals to understand the origin of self-limiting beliefs that deprive them of happiness and create needless suffering. The book offers a code of conduct that can quickly change individuals’ lives and usher in a new sense of genuine joy, love, and liberation. The code of conduct is presented in the form of four agreements that include being impeccable with one’s word, not taking anything personally, not making assumptions, and always doing one’s best. According to the author, one of the primary sources of individuals’ self-limiting beliefs is the domestication of humans, through which they learn how to live and dream. People are taught through the use of rewards and punishments during domestication, making them fearful of being punished and not rewarded. In addition to the introduction of fear among individuals, domestication also causes suffering, which they have to endure to maintain the beliefs instilled into them. In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz discusses the concept of domestication of humans and how it introduces fear and suffering to human beings.
Domestication of humans involves teaching them how to live by introducing a belief system with which they must abide. Through domestication, people develop a belief of what should be termed right or wrong, which turns them into being judgmental. Ruiz (1997) states that “There is something in our minds that judges everybody and everything, including the weather, the dog, the cat — everything” (p. 4). People who have been domesticated suffer from the tyranny of judgment, which dictates that when they go against the law, they are found guilty, need to be punished, and should be ashamed. Domestication also introduces an image of perfection for individuals to strive to be good enough, failure to which they encounter rejection. Ruiz (1997) says that “Not being perfect, we reject ourselves” (p. 7). Humans develop rejection not only from others but also from themselves when they feel they are not good enough. The urge for perfection makes them dishonor themselves or even hurt themselves to please others. Consequently, domesticated humans are forced to live in suffering to uphold the belief system to which they were introduced.
As a result of domestication, people suffer as they are forced to believe what was introduced to them involuntarily. Ruiz illustrates that the beliefs introduced to people during domestication blind them from seeing the truth and constantly need to be correct and make others appear wrong, thus making them endure suffering to be good enough. Ruiz (1997) says, “We trust what we believe, and our beliefs set us up for suffering” (p. 7). With domestication, people struggle to be what they are not to please others and be correct regarding the introduced belief system. Ruiz also compares the suffering caused by domestication to the one in hell. He describes hell as “a place of punishment, a place of fear, pain, and suffering” and the outside dream created by domestication as “a dream of violence, a dream of fear, a dream of war, a dream of injustice” (Ruiz, 1997, p. 6). This comparison shows that domestication imprisons humans in a dream of suffering from which they need to liberate themselves. In addition to suffering, domesticated humans also live in great fear.
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