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Suffering In Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements

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Suffering is practically a guaranteed part of life; everyone experiences it in some way or another. It can accompany loses of close friends or family members, a heartbreak, or waves of powerful emotions. Everyone experiences suffering uniquely to themselves and the effects can be long- or short-term. Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of The Four Agreements, takes a deeper look into what can cause suffering. His second agreement in the novel, don’t take anything personally, focuses on how individuals get so engrossed with the actions of others, that they become trapped in a place of self-loathing and negativity. Eckhart Tolle takes this concept a step further in his novel, The Power of Now. His idea of suffering stems from pain that is feeding off of our thoughts, and how it is ourselves causing the suffering because of our ignorance and inability to live in the present. Tolle and Ruiz discuss how personal suffering impacts our consciousness, our perspective of others and ourselves, and our ignorance of the truth.
Consciousness is defined as the awareness by the mind of itself and its surroundings. When an individual is in a state of suffering, it can reduce how much they are able to be aware of what is going on, therefore effecting their suffering. In Tolle’s novel he says, “The more you identify with your mind, the more you suffer” (Tolle 33). This is a negative take on what it means to understand your mind. On the other hand, Dan Mager, a senior staff writer at Central Recovery
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