The Spiritual Warrior

In the best selling book The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz gives four principles to practice in order to create love and happiness in your life. Adopting and committing to these agreements is simple. Actually living and keeping these four agreements can be one of the hardest things you will ever do. It can also be one of the most life changing things you will ever do.
As you practice living these four practices your life will dramatically change. In the beginning these new habits will be challenging and you will lapse countless times. With practice, these agreements become integrated into your being and every area of your life and become easy habits to keep.

The Four Agreements are:

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. We can handle the worst Truth much more easily than the best lie. It is a waste of energy to spend time on what is not true.

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. Forgive their ignorance and say: “I love you anyway.”

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.

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.
Upon reading don Miguel’s wisdom many people have their eyes opened to a new possibility for living life. They get excited when they see the potential for happiness, love, and respect with themselves and their relationships. What they fail to see is the challenges and resistance the mind will have to living just one of the agreements. Don Miguel briefly mentions these challenges in his book, but people fixate on the four chapters with the agreements and seem to miss these other important points. This is often the set up for expectations that lead to disappointment and frustration.


During our early life we began making agreements. Our parents rewarded us when we did what they wanted and they punished us when we didn’t. We also learned behaviors and habits in school, church, and from other adults and children on the playground. The tools of reward and punishment were often emotional and sometimes physical. The impact of other people’s opinions and reactions to us became a very strong force in the habits we created. In this process we created agreements in our mind of who we should be, what we shouldn’t be, who we were, and who we were not. Over time we learned to live our life based on the agreements in our own mind. We learned to live according to the agreements that came from the opinion of others. In this process of domestication it turns out that the choices we make and the life we live is more driven by the opinions we learned from others than one we would choose on our own.

Why Living the Four Agreements Is Such a Challenge

We have out of years of habit not paid attention to how we express our self. The responses that come out of our mouth are often automatic. They were learned from years of habit living by the agreements we learned. We do not consciously choose our words, or the emotion, tone, and attitude that we express.

Over years our mind has filled with beliefs that generate incessant thinking. In all that thinking we have many assumptions that we are not aware of. We even make the assumption that what we think is true. We imagine and assume what others think of us and how they will react. We also assume that the judgments and self criticisms we have are true. We have learned to make so many assumptions that we aren’t aware of. These assumptions are not the truth. These assumptions and the faith we put in them is just one way that we are not impeccable with our word.
Through our domestication we have also learned to take things personally. We assume that when someone has an opinion about us that their opinion is valid. We end up having an emotional reaction to what someone says because we assume it is true. We can also take personally our own opinions. We also take personally our own self judgments. These self judgments are nothing more than an assumption. Over years the mind has developed many habits of making assumptions and taking them personally.

Just because you adopt the Four Agreements doesn’t mean that all these habits in the mind will stop with that commitment. When you decide to change your life and adopt the Four Agreements you are challenging the beliefs you learned and the habits you practiced since your childhood domestication. Adopting the Four Agreements creates a conflict in the mind between expressing your self impeccably with love and your existing fear based beliefs.

Avoiding Double Jeopardy

One of the hidden assumptions that people often make when adopting the Four Agreements is about time. Without awareness the mind makes the assumption that they should immediately be able to keep the Four Agreements 100% of the time. The mind completely ignores that there are already existing agreements and habits of taking things personally that have been in place for years.

With the expectation of the new agreement that we will not break any of the Four Agreements we are set up for failure. We have an emotional reaction and take something personally which feels bad. (But is completely normal part of our old habits) But then the inner judge reprimands us for failing to not take something personally. Now we feel twice as bad. The inner judge tells us that we failed and the voice of the victim in the mind accepts this proposal.

The result is that we are not only upset, but we also feel like a failure. If you just look at your emotional state at this point it will seem like things are getting worse instead of better. It can seem like attempting to keep the Four Agreements is causing more problems and making you feel worse.

If you are aware that you are judging your self for taking something personally it can get worse. Your inner judge might use that awareness to judge and reject your self for judging your self for taking something personally. In the beginning of this process, the nasty voices in your head are likely to use your new found awareness as material for self judgment.


In actuality the problem is not that you adopted the Four Agreements. Nor is the problem that you think you are a failure. What is really happening is that you are having an awakening. You are waking up to how your mind makes assumptions, has emotional reactions, and is so quick to make self judgments. These realizations about the belief system in your mind are not usually pleasant but are part of an awakening. It is usually an uncomfortable realization, but through it, your awareness is growing.


With some more awareness and practice you can move beyond this uncomfortable awakening about the mind. You will come to see that it is not You that is judging your self for failing. It is the inner judge. With practice you will see the ridiculous expectations and assumptions for what they are and not feel like a failure when you lapse in your journey to impeccability. This comes as you gain more awareness and gain more personal power over your agreements.

The Challenge of a Spiritual Warrior

Don Miguel refers to some of these challenges throughout the book. However, in the excitement of the Truth in what don Miguel writes, people often overlook where he points out that this endeavor is not easy. The agreements may be simple, but he never says they are easy to keep.

At the same time living the Four Agreements has taken me on the most rewarding and profound journey of happiness and fulfillment beyond anything I could have imagined. The hard work in the beginning is rewarding to me in every interaction every day of my life. This is a very big return for a small investment of time and effort.

Don Miguel refers to people who decide to adopt the Four Agreements and create love and happiness in their life Spiritual Warriors. It is Spiritual because it is about living your Life. It is also referred to as a war because you are challenging the old fear based beliefs in your mind. It will take more than a week and a half to break free of fear, the tyranny of the inner judge, and old emotional habits. There will be some battles lost along the way, but that is of minor concern in the longer term strategy of creating happiness in your life.

The Quest for Personal Freedom

The quest of a Spiritual Warrior is for Personal Freedom. Personal Freedom means freedom from fear, illusions, and the fear based beliefs in the mind. In essence it means to win the war over the beliefs in the mind. It is with Personal Freedom that we are free of the human condition of emotional suffering. Spiritual traditions around the world have their own names for this state of awareness including nirvana and heaven. It is a state that is simply described as living your life with unconditional love, gratitude, and respect, for your self, and for others.

The Opportunity

When you commit to the effort of transforming your life, you must check your attitude. The universe you feel is three-dimensional. You can choose any direction from Here and Now to travel to There and Then. The There and Then represents a Goal. If you are not comfortable about your current Here and Now, you must adjust your attitude by living life according to the Four Agreements. The goal you will reach is Personal Freedom.

Eckhart Tolle is a current spiritual leader who wrote The Power of Now. He did a web series about how to transform the world, sponsored and hosted by Oprah Winfrey. That book is Called “A New Earth,” and both books are worth the time to read. His website has videos to further define and explain the Truth.

The most difficult belief to chase out of your life is the concept of Time. As you can tell from the definition above, there are many ways of interpreting the world. In order to change your attitude about Time, consider the following:

1. Most people fear Death. Their assumption of how long they hope to live normally drives their goals on a daily basis. Teenagers may think they will live forever, therefore may perform acts of wild abandon. The wisest Toltec saying from the Four Amendments is “The only thing that dies is the Past.” This is true.

2. Consider this: After breathing, what is the next human function you must perform as a human being to stay alive? Sleep. What happens when you go to sleep? You lose consciousness. You die. What do you think keeps the motor running while you’re dead? Answer that for your self.

3. When you wake up, you begin your daily routine and focus forward into Today to accomplish what you call your “Things To Do list.” As you proceed through your day, you gather experiences for your future until you die again. This is called living “One Day at a Time.” This is the only possible way anyone can live. This is true.

4. Calendars regulate how we manage imaginary days. In Truth, there is only one day, so no calendar is needed for anything else but regulating people’s activities. You use calendars to look forward into the imagined future to plan weddings, buy Christmas gifts, attend a seminar, schedule appointments, etc. Those elements do not yet exist, but we intend to create the situation. We create our own future. This is true.

5. If you bring memories from your past into your mind, you are reincarnating the experience into the Here and Now. If it is a pleasant one, you feel good and if it is a painful one, you hurt. Being aware that you can stop reliving the past will free your mind to look towards improving the future. You must do a U-Turn from (change your attitude) the past to the future. There is absolutely NOTHING YOU CAN DO to change past. You can only change what you think about the future. This is true.

6. Picture yourself as the equal sign in an equation. You live in the equal sign, the Here and Now. Either side of the equation can be Past and Future. You know that when you transfer values from one side to the other, you have to change that value either from a negative to a positive or vice versa. Past is your negative and Future is your Positive. A Positive Mental Attitude is one that focuses on the Future. This is true.

7. The past is negative only if you want to relive it. Picture yourself on a riverbank of the Niagara, representing Here and Now. Across the river is the ideal: Paradise, Heaven, Nirvana or your next most important goal. The flow of the water is fast and furious and, if you fall in, you may be carried over the waterfall. Before you are any number of stepping stones that can take you across. Once you step onto the first stone, you begin your journey. As you continue to get away from your past and proceed across to your future, you will feel trepidation and fear about falling into the river. You may be so terrified in the middle to consider just plunging in. Be strong and resolute in your ability to get across. If you make up your mind to achieve, you will. This is true.
8. The past is also the foundation from which you begin your journey. You are to make the choice of how many stepping stones you need to cross the river. If you are very confident you may need only fifty stones. Less confident may need hundreds. You can take baby steps or quantum leaps. Just as long as you keep your eyes on the opposing bank and move forward, you will get there. This is true.

9. Each stepping stone will create a better foundation in your mind if you gain confidence in your ability to balance yourself. You may even decide to start running across and skipping over stones to get to your destination faster. Just be careful of rash and unnecessary risk. Slow and steady can surely get you there. This is true.

10. If you decide to turn from the stone you now occupy and go back into your past, you have added many more stones to your journey if you decide to try again. This is true.

Every single goal you seek to achieve and have already achieved follows this concept. Whether your goal is to become a doctor, throw a ball to a catcher’s mitt, go for a walk in the park, take a vacation to Europe, plan your wedding, etc., the very same process may be visualized.

I have done Systems Analysis for almost fifty years. Three elements are the only components of every system: Input, Process, and Output. This is a System Cycle. The best way to start analyzing a system for effectiveness and efficiency is to begin in the Output component. That is the goal of the System Cycle. According to Buddhist philosophy, human beings can contain 87 goals in their mind at any one time. No wonder we have AD/HD!

The first thing to examine is the goal. The first question to ask is: Is it necessary? The most common answer heard by systems analysts when they ask the question is: “We’ve always done it that way.” Many functions previously performed to achieve a goal can be automated, eliminated or assimilated.
If indeed it is necessary, can it be better defined or made clearer and easier to understand? Many failures are caused by ill-defined goals. Tons of work goes into a project and, in the middle of the effort, someone realizes the design won’t deliver the desired result. Goal definition is THE most important step in System Design.

Now, we have visualized the bank across the river. We now have to determine how many stepping stones we need and how large they will have to be. Some of the stones may have to support many individuals. In Business Systems, the design must consider the participation of different people at different times and the Implementation Schedule must be very clear as to Who, When, Where and How Much each stepping stone must be. To compute an accurate Return on Investment, this is very important.

The first stepping stone to be defined is the penultimate one, the one you will step from onto the river bank. The question to ask is: “What do I have to be carrying with me to take that last step?” Those components are “mini-goals.” Each mini-goal is another river you crossed and each one can be analyzed in the same manner. The question is: “How do we produce this mini-goal and this one and this one, etc.” Sometimes, when dozens of analysts working with multiple levels in an organization attempt to produce a complex system, this becomes a very difficult process. However, it can be done and MUST be done to produce the best design.

When that is done, retreat to the previous stepping stone and repeat the process until you return to the starting riverbank. Presto! The solution is walking backwards from the Goal.

The difference between what you have (starting riverbank) and what you want (opposing riverbank) creates what we call a problem. The river is not the problem. The stepping stones are. Walking back from the opposing bank is our solution. There is not a waking moment in your life that has not followed this Cycle. Getting your hair done, going to work, taking a shower, walking your dog and any other activity ALWAYS follows the rules above.

If we apply the Four Agreements to the Cycle and the stepping stones, life will made much more fulfilling and much more productive. “Joy of Work” is a small book published by Dharma Publishing that is recommended reading. It helps better understand our purpose when working. When addressing a task, nothing feels better than expressing your self in your work.
The following passage will be very difficult to understand without some very high level of understanding. Do not concern your self. If you apply the Four agreements to your Today, you won’t need to understand How it works, only that it does work. This is true.

Once you have removed all traces of your faulty belief systems and have crossed the river, you come to realize the state of Nirvana, Zen, Heaven or Paradise. The opposite riverbank may have been as simple as going to the grocery store for your weekly food supply. Now that you know that you can use this process to achieve any goal, you are able to live Here and Now forever. You can control Infinity and Eternity. This is true.

From this singular, non-dimensional point of Here and Now, the vibration of Being/Not Being (binary) allows you to paint your Image of Life. This is where the principles of Quantum Physics can be explained (somewhat.)

The Wave/Particle Theory defines two States of Being. Wave state is analog and Particle state is digital. These are described In “The Calculus of Logic’” written by George Boole in the middle of the nineteenth century,. They are the basis for the binary (zero and one) numbering system that makes computers do their thing. In Truth, there exists only one number (1) and the absence of that number (0). This is true. All other numbering systems are artificial and Not True.

Boole teamed up with Charles Babbage and both endeavored to create a Differential Engine that was the start of computerization. His treatise proves the way the human mind works through usage of differential equations. My partner and I developed an Artificial Mind (Cogitator) in 1995 and created Cognitor, Inc. in 1996 based upon Boole's Calculus of Logic and Probability Theory. This is true.

When combinations of zeros and ones from the vibrations caused by Being/Not Being are gathered to create an understandable thought, it is broadcast into the Universe you imagine and reflects to you when you are in a state of Being. If it echoes when you are in a state of Non-Being, it can create non-Sense. You may want to rebroadcast the same thought, just in case. Nevertheless, you are projecting your Being. (Supreme Being is a verb, not a noun.)

When you “reflect” upon the beauty of your creation, you may want to adjust the frequency and/or amplitude for your next broadcast to make it even more beautiful. (We are antennas that broadcast vibrations outward in ALL directions and receive the echo from ALL directions.) When you receive the result(s) of your broadcast and examine it, you can rebroadcast a better version of your thought to improve the response. You have learned from experience. You can continue to improve your life by experiencing it as it was meant to be. The four Agreements will help to make it happen faster. This is true.

Once happy with the result, you hold that thought and start creating new thoughts related to it. If the next one is an improvement, you can attach it to the other and continue until your universe is complete. It will never be complete. The nice thing is, you will always be living in the Here and Now so you have eternity to create whatever you want to imagine. This is the Grand Unified Theory (GUT) in a nutshell.

To achieve this, you must erase all negative thoughts that try to enter your state of Being from what you call Past. The past is dead. There is no reason to re-create the pain' lies, indoctrination and regret from what we call “yesterdays” into the beautiful Life of Today. Trust yourself to execute Life naturally and get back to the Here and Now. Each time your hurtful memories try to enter Here and Now, ask yourself this question: “If I had known then what I know now, I would have…”. Build upon the principles of Truth and Love. What this will do is replace the pain and suffering with the best that you can do Today. The Four Agreements are the starting point for this magical transformation. Apply them diligently and with persistence each waking moment and you will be on the Path of the Spiritual Warrior. This path is also called the Tao and Amazing Grace. Eventually, you will reach:

Total Bliss

Copyright 2008 by John Stachura All rights reserved

Author's Bio: 

Mr. Stachura was born in a small village in Central France at the end of World War II. His parents brought the family to Chicago in 1955 to begin a new life. Eight years later, at the age of eighteen, he became one of the first computer programmers at LaSalle National Bank in Chicago and started converting manual systems to automated processes.

In 1982, while attending a training class, he reached an understanding of how the human mind works. For the next fourteen years, he studied and researched exhaustively to design an artificial mind that would think, learn, and make decisions as a human being does.

In 1991, he met his partner who had created software that would serve this concept. It wasn’t until 1995 that Cognitor, Incorporated was co-founded and the name “Cogitator” was given to the software. After twenty-five years of research, “The Mind – User Manual” was released in April 2007.

Largely self-educated, Mr. Stachura has traveled around the world, has an honorable discharge as a Vietnam veteran, spent two years in Saudi Arabia managing a software firm and is a member of MENSA.