Top critical review
The Four Agreements Don't Pull Through
on January 5, 2003
Quite simply, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz just doesn't concur. Though written to achieve a genuine (yet impractical) cause, its expression that the book will "rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love" is quite far fetched.
Using dramatic, underlying imagery, Ruiz takes the reader through a journey of tales, traveling to picturesque scenes that attempt to transform the reader into a very own student of the Mexican Toltec beliefs. However, in order to achieve true happiness through this lyrical expedition, the reader must apply various themes into his or her life that would take constant dedication and a reversal of many modern beliefs. Frankly, it would take a universal commitment to change the negative, global aura this book attempts to dispel.
On the contrary, the book creates a fresh entry into the world of self-help books. Another similar work written two years after The Four Agreements was first published, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, was said to have been confusing and falls short of any success. Ruiz is more clear in language and friendly in tone. Very unique in the genre of self-help books, The Four Agreements uses the practices of the Toltecs to attempt life transformation.
If everyone in this world practiced the beliefs in the book, humankind would be beyond a system of peace and harmony. It is very evident, though, that not everyone will read the book and, clearly, Ruiz's vision of pure contentment will not exist past the pages of The Four Agreements.