Your Personal Book of Law
The problem is this: we, as individuals, live in the collective dream of a family, of a community, of a nation. We, as individuals, live in the collective dream of humanity itself.
And every time a new soul enters this experience of earthly life, its people rush in to hook its attention and to indoctrinate him or her in the ways of this outer dream. Every time a new soul enters this experience of earthly life, mothers and fathers and siblings and friends and teachers and ministers and, dear God, the media and social media, rush in to indoctrinate him or her in the ways of this outer dream.
The ways of this outer dream, for better or worse, inform gender roles and religious beliefs and life purpose and relational rules and even personal values. The ways of this outer dream inform which clothes to wear and which language to speak and which religion to practice.
And because that child quite simply doesn’t know any better, the child agrees with the ways of this outer dream, for better or worse. And in so doing, the outer dream becomes the inner dream or what Don Miguel Ruis calls, a personal Book of Law.
This process by which the outer dream becomes a personal Book of Law is called the domestication of humans.
The author asserts that this domestication of humans is parallel to the domestication of animals. It’s a rather crude process rooted in a system of reward and punishment. We are rewarded when we act in accord with the expectations of the outer dream. And we are punished when we act out of accord with the expectations of the outer dream.
Ultimately, we are rewarded as we abandon our deepest selves. We are rewarded for pretending to be something we’re not. And we are punished if we refuse to abandon our deepest selves. We are punished for refusing to be something we’re not.
And this domestication of humans is so effective that, in time, we no longer need mothers and fathers, siblings and friends, teachers and ministers, and even the media and social media. This domestication of humans is so effective that, in time, we begin to reward ourselves for pretending to be something we’re not. And we begin to punish ourselves for refusing to be something we’re not.
In time, we become self-domesticating. In time, we become self-perpetuating mimics of mothers and fathers, siblings and friends, teachers and ministers, and even the media and social media.
And it’s in such a fashion that this outer dream, for better or worse, gets passed from generation to generation to generation.
Now, I say for better or worse because the outer dream is brimming with lies. So, as each new soul innocently agrees to the tenets of that outer dream and adopts them as an inner dream – as a personal Book of Law – he or she begins to reward himself and to punish herself for some pretty ridiculous ideas about gender roles and religious beliefs and life purpose and relational rules and even personal values.
I say for better or worse, because if the author is correct, entire lives have been constructed on Books of Law which are 95% false. Entire lives have been constructed on the fearful fiction of generations of frightened humans.
And so it is that when a human stumbles upon a lie – when the religious rhetoric found on the pages of a man’s Book of Law bumps against his love for his gay child or, say, his friendship with his Muslim neighbor; when the life purpose found on the pages of a woman’s Book of Law bumps against the gender-nonconforming career that makes her soul dance; when the personal values found on the pages of a human’s Book of Law bumps against a teaching such as ours which says that every form of life is an individualized expression of the one Life (by whatever name we choose to call It) and as such, is intrinsically valuable, innately important, inherently worthy of its right to be; when a human stumbles upon any lie upon which an entire life has been constructed, the human finds itself at a most-important point of choice: will he abandon the lie? Or will she retreat to the safety of the known, no matter how flawed, no matter how mediocre, no matter how limiting it might be?
And make no mistake. The outcome isn’t as predictable as you might think.
So, according to the author’s tradition, that’s the problem.
But, according to the author’s tradition, this is the solution, and I quote, “If you want to live a life of joy and fulfillment, you have to find the courage to break those agreements.”
If you want to live a life of soul satisfaction, you have to find the courage to wave away the fog of society’s many impositions that you might step into clear air of a soul-driven existence.
And while this isn’t easy, I’m willing to believe it’s worth it. And by virtue of your reading this, I imagine you’re willing to believe it’s worth it as well.
The author sets forth four new agreements which are designed to do just that – to wave away the mitote (referring to that cacophony of voices) that we might reveal a new dream called heaven.
It was Maya Angelou who wrote, and I quote, “Someday we’ll be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally into you.”
And her sentiments have been reflected in the scriptures of virtually every great tradition.
It was a Sikh writer who explained that, “Breath is God’s gift of life and when we use it to utter sounds, those sounds carry the creative power of the universe.”
The Buddha, “Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.”
And, of course, in the opening chapters of Torah, "God said, 'Let there be light’ and there was light." God created the universe through words.
And it was Unity’s co-founder, Mr. Fillmore who wrote, and I quote, “Words are seeds, and when dropped into the invisible spiritual substance, they grow and bring forth after their kind.”