The Fifth Agreement Book Summary - The Fifth Agreement Book explained in key points
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The Fifth Agreement summary

Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz

A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery

4.4 (185 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz is a guide to achieving personal freedom by living with integrity, being impeccable with our words, and not taking things personally.

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    The Fifth Agreement
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    We lose our natural human tendencies thanks to the process of domestication and the symbology we’re taught.

    Every day our mind is influenced by society and the people around us. Our parents and our environment teach us what they’ve learned and what they believe, and when we take on these beliefs, we become domesticated.

    But prior to domestication, we go about our normal tendencies without self-consciousness or self-judgment. That is, from the moment we are born, we have tendencies to explore, create, eat, and so on, and we act on these tendencies without question.

    When we reach toddlerhood, we frolick around naked and carefree without thinking I’m too fat, and express our creativity without thinking I painted with the wrong colors. We seek to fulfill our needs and instincts, simply because it makes us happy.

    Gradually, though, we’re introduced to symbology, and use the symbols that we’re taught during our upbringing to judge and punish ourselves and each other.

    But we do need symbology – it’s how we express ourselves. That means that the words we use are graphical symbols that we’ve given a certain meaning in order to communicate through sound and writing.

    However, the symbology we’re exposed to and taught when growing up is loaded with cultural and social values and norms.

    In this way, we also learn how we ought to be, in accordance with particular values and norms, and we use abstract notions of wrong and right, fat and skinny, beautiful and ugly and so forth to gauge these norms.

    For instance, we might learn that we should go to church every Sunday to be a good Christian, or we should be skinny, smart and beautiful in order to experience a happy life.

    Unfortunately, many of us judge and punish ourselves and others for not fulfilling the different shoulds of symbology, and over time, we lose the ability to behave in line with our normal human tendencies – the unselfconscious toddler in all of us.

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    What is The Fifth Agreement about?

    Our perceptions of our true selves are clouded by the society we live in and the people around us. The Fifth Agreement (2010) introduces five pacts that will help you strip away those misconceptions and uncover the truth about who you really are – without running off to a mountain top to be a hermit.

    Who should read The Fifth Agreement?

    • Anyone who wants to feel freer.
    • People who feel discouraged about their life.
    • Anyone searching for a deeper understanding of themselves

    About the Author

    Don Miguel Ruiz is the author of The Four Agreements, which remained a New York Times bestseller for over seven years. His other books include The Mastery of Love and The Voice of Knowledge. He draws on the philosophies of the Toltec culture, which flourished in Mexico over a thousand years ago.

    Don Jose Ruiz is the son of Don Miguel Ruiz. Don Jose Ruiz teaches and lectures both in the United States and internationally, helping to spread the wisdom and teachings of Toltec culture.

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