which don Miguel Ruiz Sr. and don Miguel Ruiz Jr. explain is about moving from being a victim to being a master of truth.
Omega: What is the Fifth Agreement, and how does it work with the previous Four Agreements?
don Miguel Sr.: The Four Agreements are a way of life. In the Four Agreements, we see the problem and help create the solution. The problem is domestication and the solution is the Four Agreements. They are Toltec tools that anyone can use to break that domestication.
After practicing the Four Agreements for a certain time, when you are ready, the Fifth Agreement arrives: Be skeptical—but learn to listen. It says to stop believing and be skeptical. It doesn’t mean, “I don’t believe just because.” It’s not a superstition. You don’t believe because you know it’s not true.
Everyone is living in their own reality in their own world, and what they believe is only true for them and not for everyone else. We have seven billion people living on this beautiful planet Earth, and everyone lives in their own reality. Everyone thinks they are right and everyone else is wrong. By being skeptical, you can listen to those stories because masters, teachers, gurus, artists, or whoever explain what they believe.
Through this process, you learn something extremely important. You learn to respect everything and everybody, and respect that what they believe is true for them, even if it’s not necessarily true for you. You listen to what they say to get the best of them and then you can apply it to your own story to make your life much better. It begins with you.
It also applies to you. Don’t believe yourself. Don’t believe your own lies or your own superstitions. When you finally practice this Fifth Agreement, it leads you to your story and you realize that the victim no longer exists. You are no longer a warrior; you are now a master.
don Miguel Jr.: Some people take issue with the word skepticism because we have a total misunderstanding of the word. We think skepticism looks like covering our ears and not being able to hear others. But skepticism looks different. My free will is the ability to say “yes” or “no.” From this point of view, I say “yes” to the things I want to say yes to and say “no” to the things I want to say no to. My no is just as powerful as my yes. To be skeptical is to hold back my yes and my no and listen. I break the cycle of the automatic yes or the automatic no, something that happens as a result of our domestication or habitual thoughts.