I just finished reading The Fifth Agreement. I read The Four Agreements last December. (It was recommended.) I don’t know, I guess these books are all right. I buy some of what Ruiz says, but not everything. Generally, the whole thing strikes me as a con. Calling it “Toltec wisdom” is a great strategy. It sounds mysterious and magical. Except he doesn’t limit his information to pre-Columbian Native peoples. So, it isn’t Toltec wisdom, it’s actually more an amalgamation of world philosophical/spiritual/metaphysical ideologies. But maybe he means well, I don’t know. It’s much like Chopra, who, in my opinion, utters senselessness that a whole lot of people assume is profound, amazing insight. These dudes are medical doctors, surgeons, so naturally they are held in high regard, and people trust that they know more than the average fool. They know about medicine and surgery, for sure.
I’ve never read Chopra, but I’ve watched him on PBS, and I’ve checked out his website just to get a sense of who he is. Sometimes he’s on tv talk shows. He was on Conan and Conan asked him how he would describe his character. Chopra told Conan he needs a lot of attention and that he’s narcissistic. That’s a load of crap. It is true, even Conan knows this, he craves and thrives on attention. He’s an entertainer, a very smart, comedic entertainer. (I’m a big fan.) Attention is what an entertainer requires, isn’t it? Attention is the signifier of his doing an excellent job in his work. Entertaining is Conan’s job, his profession, his career, for god’s sake. If no one paid attention, he’d be a failure at his work!
I don’t see Conan as a narcissist. But Chopra strikes me as one. But that’s just my perception. That’s my opinion based on my perception. A perception based on what I see, hear, know, and who I am.
Ruiz does have some interesting ideas. And if I say, I am skeptical, but I’m listening, well, that’s exactly what he “preaches”; that is the Fifth Agreement: “Be skeptical, but learn to listen”. The first four agreements are: Be impeccable with your word, Don’t take anything personally, Don’t make assumptions, Always do your best. Fair enough. But words are slippery; sometimes we have to assume; sometimes things are personal; and everyone, generally, is always doing the best they can, for better or worse. One thing I like that Ruiz says, is that our minds are mirrors which reflect what we see, so we only have a virtual reality in our minds. It isn’t actual truth, but a distorted truth. If you look in a mirror, everything is backwards, right? Life is a dream, he says, because the mind dreams, and we have the power to create the dream we want, therefore, to live the life we want. I believe that to a point. I mean, aren’t some people delusional? American Idol, The Voice, So You Think You Can Dance start out with auditions, and sometimes we see contestants who actually believe they can sing or dance. They really believe it, but we can see that they can’t. They are delusional. They will never in a million years make that dream come true.
It’s easy for these guys, who are loaded, to tell people, “If you are unhappy, it’s because you choose to be.” Ok, yeah, attitude goes a long way. Positive thinking, I’m all for it. But I think these guys oversimplify. It’s best to tread carefully.
Hell, man, I wish I came up with a product or idea that made me rich. Whowee, I’d be home free! Money doesn’t buy everything, but what it does buy, I sure can use. I’d buy that house I want in New Mexico, and the wheels I need, and always have the ducats for the maintenance and repairs. I could travel if I wanted to. Yeah, boy, gimme some that moola.
If I wrote something that sold, that would be great. If I sold any of my paintings, that would be awesome. Writing and painting is what I love most. It’s how I want to live my life, writing and painting. That’s is the dream I want to live. So, if I keep dreaming it, will I see it realized? I don’t know, but I’m dreaming it just in case.
I love reading good writing. I really enjoy reading other people’s blogs. I don’t always leave a calling card (hit “Like” or comment), but I enjoy reading other people’s poetry, stories, essays, ramblings, points of view. That’s why I am very happy here on WordPress. I doubt I will ever make the Freshly Pressed page. I recently wrote a blog I titled Why I Write. And I’ll be goddamned there’s a Freshly Pressed blog entry today with that same title. I read it. Nothing new or original or bold. It’s safe. 😐 I thought it was a bit holier than thou. But that’s just my perception, nothing personal, just my opinion, my own virtual reality. Why do you write? There must be hundreds of reasons why people write. I wonder, how much ego will you admit to?