Essay: The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz

Sample Essay

The Fifth Agreement is a New York Times bestseller, penned by father-son duo Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz. It deals with the evacuation and expulsion of beliefs. The author Don Miguel opposes the very foundation of baseless fears and questions the implication that preconceived beliefs have on our culture and traditions. The elimination of belief systems is a representative of the philosophy of the Toltec Path. When such a belief is ingrained in an individual, and is condemned to preemptive interpretation, the belief tends on to become a rigid theory. This theory hardens itself on the surface of culture and becomes a norm.

This can be explained through an example. The Japanese consider the number four highly inauspicious and associate it with death. The word shi, translated as four in Japanese, has a homophone shinu which implies death in the Japanese language. Owing to this baseless correspondence with the ill-fated number, the Japanese eliminate the number four from their buildings.

Similarly, the number thirteen is rendered as ominous in the western cultures, due to its association with Friday the thirteenth, and is often skipped when numbering floors in a building. Such cultures preserve their superstitions in old-wound beliefs that shackle the mere foundations of logical reasoning.

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